Waiting for the morning

(First published October 19, 2011)

You are waiting.

You aren’t sure what’s happening. You can’t see to the end of today. And you are waiting.

It reminds you of that summer before your senior year of high school, the summer that you worked third shift. All alone in the building, all alone working on the computer.  Sometimes alone is okay. But in the hours just before dawn, when exhaustion is setting in, you can see waiting.

It reminds you of the time between you decided to apply for the job and the conversation in your office when they said, “We’ve decided to go the other direction.” Those weeks of wondering, those last minutes of sheer uncertainty about which way your whole life was going.

You are waiting.

And in your waiting, you are trying to talk to God. You make promises and then rescind them and then rescind your doubt and then doubt yourself. It’s so deep, your waiting, that some moments you cannot breath. You cannot sit. You cannot touch the keyboard.

An ancient chant starts playing around the edges of your heart.

More than the watchmen, waiting for the morning.
More than the watchmen, waiting for the morning.

Every bit of urgency and despair and desire and fear pours itself into that line. Because that’s how much you want hope, how much you are aching for this to be fixed.  But you can’t remember where that chant came from.

It came from Psalm 130, which is familiar even if never before seen.  Right before the repeated watchman phrase, the writer tells us the object of desire:

My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen, waiting for the morning.

You aren’t the first to wait.  Or the first to cry out from the depths for mercy. I’ve known the feeling. And found hope.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.