Farm woman waiting for her husband. John Vachon, 1939. Library of Congress Collection

My head is full of time.

Time to rest. Time travel. Time too quickly past.

Time renewed on a single day.

It is a strange business, this marking of time.

Time is human measure.

The rising and setting sun a gift to finite minds from an infinite God whose days are a thousand years. A reminder that life is short, a vapor. A call to live.

* * * * *
Christmas remained in our house until the 12th day, yesterday. And today is Epiphany.

Epiphany. Sudden, striking realization.

Thoughts of time awaken me this morning. Hours, minutes til rousing the house. Time ticking away til church. A new year . . . different from any new day. House, cleared of Christmas clutter, anticipating life.

I wish I could feel this new every day.

I pray. Breathe newness into our lives.

I pass through the living room, the dining room, the kitchen — clean yesterday, but full now of last night.

I sigh. Life lived cannot always be tidy.

So much for newness.

Then I remember.

. . . Too bad I taught the children in church about the Wise Men last week. Time to think creative thought is slipping. If I linger, I’ll be late…but the Wise Men.

The Wise Men. Watched. Waited. Studied. Followed.

We do not discover Blessed Newness on our own. We are led to it.

We will not return to the destroyer. The one who kills all to find one.

We will return to our country by another way.

* * * * *


The calendar doesn’t match the time. I long for new, but must wait for it. Spring — and real new — is still months away.

The winter white crocus will be the first sign of new life. Bulb, planted long before the cold and rain. Hope buried deep — growing, nurtured by a freezing death in winter.

Crocus flowers bloom in the grey-dark. They do not wait for sun, for warm.

(If they were dependent on me for life, bulbs would never live.) Sun and warm draw me to the garden — not the burying, the waiting — seems so painfully futile in winter.

Ah, but I am short-sighted. I note to myself: this year, do not forget the sweet peas. Plant them when it is miserable. Bury them. When it is miserable. Or they won’t grow.


Yes. There is a beauty only nurtured in adversity. A word, a whisper in the darkness of our life. We hear. We believe. We take courage.

Like Mary, surprised. Anxious. Word of an angel in our hearts, waiting for the day glory will be revealed.

How blessed the moment of epiphany. God’s blessing. God’s gift to mankind trapped in time.

In the darkest of days, a seed of hope.

Long expected. Yet unexpected.

Late in time. Yet right on time.

And then…

Release from time for those who have been marking it carefully: 9 months, westward leading star, 400 years of silence — finally broken…

Epiphany. Assurance in the form of gold, frankincense and myrrh. He is the One.

Treasured moment. Pondered for years. Thirty years of waiting. Thirty years of knowing, expecting, hoping.


I breathe assurance for this coming year of moments. Allow myself to be led by grace and mark time with gratitude. With prayers. With consciousness that we are not yet what we shall be.

I will take this beauty home with me. By God’s grace. By another route.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. — Ecclesiastes 3:11