Remembering the Sunrise
Each Easter morning, my grandmother used to go to a Sunrise Service - a Christian meeting that began before dawn and celebrated the rising of the Son. As a child I could never understand why anyone would voluntarily pull herself out of a warm bed in the dark just to go to church! Church was a duty forced upon me, not one that I took up with any spirit or desire of my own and as soon as I could voice my objections forcefully enough, it was one that I first avoided and then rejected all together. Waking up and going out to watch the sun come up may have had a certain attraction to my childish imagination, but not enough of one to get me out of bed! I thought it rather foolish, in fact; and she was a grown-up… she didn’t have to do anything she didn’t want to do!
As time went by, and my grandmother left us, so did my faith in anything greater than the things I could see, or feel or understand. My path has led me in a different direction than my grandmother’s and now, in middle age, I feel foolish in remembering my vanity in losing faith in anything greater than the little which I can comprehend. As I round another section of curve in what I have come to believe is the circle of my life, I find myself awake before the sun this Easter morn and thinking of the small, cheerful woman who rose before dawn, washed and dressed in the dark and took herself out into the night to wait with a group of fellow-believers for the first light to celebrate, to renew her faith in a risen Saviour. I will not follow your example and perhaps (no, almost certainly) I am the poorer for it, but I will see the sun rise and along with a never-ending awe at the repetition of the miracle that is the coming of each new day, I think of you, grandma, who was so often my own saviour and protector against evil and feel you near me once more. For you, for all of the things you were to me, the risen sun is a perfect symbol.