I got the call that woke me out of a dead sleep on a Tuesday morning in April before the sun came up. And I hopped in my car and drove in the dark to a hospital where my dad went in for a routine knee surgery. Over the course of the morning we were to find out that he had a completely blocked artery and another that probably collapse during surgery causing a massive heart attack. When I emerged from the hospital just six hours later, blinded by the noon day sun I was fatherless.
Family and friends gathered at my parents home that afternoon to sit and stare and wonder. I stood outside and squinted at the horizon that evening begging the sun not to leave the sky. For when the sun rose on this day I had a father... and I would never have another day like that here on earth again.
That is kind of how I feel at the far end of 2014. In a time where one would think I would be looking forward to putting this year of all years behind me, I am standing here squinting towards the horizon begging the last 2014 sun not to leave. For half this rotation of the sun I had a dad.. and I'll never have another year like that here on earth again.
As I ponder the year I don't look back with fondness, or warmth I can only seem to muster up a deep, tired sigh of confusion/thankfulness that I have survived, it seems, the most devastating year of my life.
"I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living…" (Psalms 27:13)
And this is where I come to you, my dear clients and friends and family and anyone that stepped in front of my camera these past 8 months. When devastation, and questioning, and fear and doubt and heartbreak and on and on hit in April I almost despaired completely. And while the morning and the evening and well, pretty much everything in-between was filled with heartbreak, just less than one week after my dad's death I picked up my camera again and began to marvel through my lens at my little glimpse at "the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."
And the dim world slowly began to gain its luster again.
It is almost fitting that today of all days, the last day of 2014, a dense layer of clouds hovered in the sky not giving the sun a single chance to break through, not one. I longed to stand in my regular sunset watching spot and stare and ache at its passing. But not a chance of that today. It was almost as if the Lord was giving me a dear gift.
So as I sit here in the now darkness of the eve of 2015 I am looking hopefully towards the other side of that 27th Psalm, taking a deep, strong courageous breath and stepping into a new day.
"…wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord." (Psalms 27:14)
I think I'll watch the sun rise tomorrow, because I have no doubt that it always will.