This spectacular sunset took my breath away. The sky is ablaze with streaks of pink, orange and violet blue. The glowing tapestry of colors is perfectly reflected in the still waters of the bay outside my friend’s house where he and his wife are hunkered down by themselves away from friends and family this holiday season in light of the pandemic.
I immediately asked if he used a filter and he said, “No, that’s exactly the way it looked.” ” Wow how can that be?”, I mused as I stared at the photo in disbelief.
We use the word, sunset, to signal the end or decline of something. For example, the sunset of an empire. As no one I know is ruling over an empire, perhaps the sunset of a relationship or a job is more relevant.
Looking back, the first week of March 2020 could be seen as the sunset of life as we knew it. As I continued to marvel at the beauty of the spectacular sunset in the photo, I thought about how God creates such beauty even at the end of the day. What beauty is God creating out of the “sunsets” in my life? What beauty can I discover in the endings of things including the end of life as we knew it in a pre-Covid world.
We are in Advent, from the Latin, Adventus, “Coming” (I wish I could say that was from 4 years of high school Latin, but alas it’s from google.) So, what is coming? A miracle is coming. Joy is coming. Hope is coming. Jesus is coming. Jesus is also already here with me, with us. As I look back on the “sunsets” in my life, the loss of loved ones, of jobs, of relationships (I may not have been ready to release), I can see clearly that God walked with me hand in hand through it all. It was hard if not impossible to see His presence at the time. Some of the whys of those “sunsets” will have to wait until heaven to be answered fully. Yet, I have enough evidence to see that God is enough in all of the turbulent and challenging times when it feels like darkness is falling and the light has gone. For now, I’ll take it one day at a time and on some days, just one tiny step at a time. When I look at this photo, I’ll remember that all things are possible with God and even endings can be hopeful as I know a “sunrise” is just around the corner.
This clip is from the 2013 annual John Lewis department store’s holiday commercial from Great Britain. A wonderful song, a behind the scene look into the making of this animated commercial, and a story of friendship…..