Treasures in Darkness

Posted: November 9, 2008 in Uncategorized

For more than a year, God has been rebuilding my concept of morning and all that goes with it.  It’s been a sweeter journey than I could ever have imagined.  This morning, I awoke before my alarm and had a picture in my head that was so perfect about what I have discovered and I wanted to share it with you.  Now, please understand that it may seem quite silly or stretchy or fairytale-like.  In fact, I would go so far as to say it may even seem crazy. But, you know, I’ve decided that’s okay. I know you’re awesome and you’ll allow me a little crazy every now and then. Right?  So, here goes…


The tiny trumpeter that lives in the box by my bed blows sharp, shrill blasts that race through dreams and peace and cause me to retreat more deeply into the refuge of my covers.  I groan out loud and try to hold onto the ankles of the night as it attempts its first getaway.  “Stay longer,” I whisper, and don’t want to let go.

I would let myself drift back to sleep, but sounds begin to filter through the darkness.

Kingdom sounds.

Assignments being given out.

Gifts being wrapped.

Messengers welcomed and sent, welcomed and sent, welcomed and sent as different parts of the world wake up.

Sharp heels echo on concrete as they approach my door, tap-tap-tapping out an alarm of their own.  Lady Day has arrived.

In my mind, she is a well-dressed grandma.  Today she is bundled in a scarf and plumed hat.  Her face is alive with expectation and her arms are loaded with brightly wrapped packages.  Green, blue, gold and – my favorite – candy apple red gifts are piled high and festooned with bows and ribbons.  Each has a parchment name tag attached, but I don’t have to read them.  I know they’re for me.

The lady drops the gifts at my door with a soft rap on the frame and a brief glance my direction.  Her eyes say the same thing every morning;  Don’t leave these sitting here, dear.  They’re very valuable and marauders are everywhere.

Gifts are so romantic, I think, and I can’t stay in bed knowing they’re out there. Waiting.  I find my  favorite sweatshirt and stumble through the house, flipping on lights that chase away the last fleeting remnants of night.  Sputtering noises from my coffee pot warm my heart and intensify the energy of the question: what’s in the boxes today?

My prayer room is warm and welcoming and I can feel that the day’s parcels have been moved into this place.  Not all of them, but many.  Glasses in place, I open my Bible and begin to carefully remove the tape on the first gift.  It’s a small, rectangular package wrapped in Tiffany blue with a white satin ribbon cinched tightly around the center.

Clearly, this was an extravagant purchase.

A velvet box reveals a sparkling bracelet comprised of one flawless diamond after the next.  It’s created by a brilliant designer who has named the piece Mercy. I slip it over my wrist, feeling dangerously spoiled, recklessly loved.  It’s mine to wear and cherish.  For 24 hours, it’s mine.  Tomorrow, something new and breathtaking will arrive.

I continue my journey through the pages of Job and Galatians and Psalms until I am surrounded by mountains of wadded up wrapping and a small pile of treasure for the day.

One gift is a stunning snow globe called Hope.  It contains the unlikely scene of a village in Africa, where children huddle, alone and unloved.  With trembling fingers I gently shake the globe.  Instead of glittery snow, a storm erupts of actual people.  Men and women and families swirl through the sky, each wearing the very same bracelet I have just opened.  They land softly in the village where they each pick up a child and lovingly place the sparkling piece around her tiny wrist.  Another shake of the globe and the village is transformed.  Beautiful, these gifts of Mercy and Hope.

My favorite gift of the day is a hand-carved wooden box which contains a gleaming dagger.  it is a small but deadly weapon which will disable the most ruthless and stealthy attacker.  This one is mine to keep.  It will work against Fear every time if I will keep it honed and handy.

I gather my treasure and close my Bible.  Stepping outside the strength and safety of the moment, I am sad to go, but glad to see the sun. I know that more gifts await as the next hours unfold; it’s just part of the new mercy and unchanging faithfulness of Jesus.

Ah, beautiful day.

I’m so glad to welcome you,


  1. Anne says:

    Yes, what a wonderful way to begin the day – with the priceless gifts that God has so graciously lavished on us! (Although I’ve never quite thought of Job that way, but tomorrow I will read it in a new light!).

    Thanks for sharing that friend!

  2. bolovesjoe says:

    Heh…Job has been a challenge for me for a long time, too. This particular day it was one of my favorite chapters – 38 – and the treasure from it is that God is a little (lot) bit sarcastic and sassy and it makes me think that I might have been made in His image after all. 🙂

  3. Jen Hoffmann says:

    oh Bo!
    I’m all teary now. This is beautiful, and I’ll never think of morning the same way again. Thank you!!!

  4. I’m so glad I read this! Mornings are currently my biggest struggle. I am going to have to print this an hang somewhere in my little house if that’s alright with you. The dagger may be just for you, but it intregues me to think that maybe there’s one for me too, waiting for me to unwrap tomorrow morning! You also gave me a brilliant idea…which I am going to try out, and I’ll let you know how it goes! Thanks Bo.

  5. Tracy says:

    Bo, I love this…explains how I feel when laying in bed in the morning:) Sometimes I’ll be awakened extra early and be so excited to jump out of bed I can’t stay! God has great treasure and I can’t wait to explore it all for eternity! Thanks for sharing your picture!

  6. bolovesjoe says:

    Tracy…you’re welcome. Now, I feel that you should definitely come home. Oh wait – are you home? If you’re not, you should. If you are, then welcome. Love you!

  7. Tracy says:

    Yea, no, I’m not home…I’m still in the sun but not to worry, it is all coming to an end shortly. Wednesday to be exact. One more day of pretend life, then back to it:)

  8. branden Carpenter says:

    That was absolutely great! I love the descriptive language and also the gifts and the well dressed old woman. And I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow and run with wild ambition to Lady day.

  9. Ann Dunagan says:

    Hi Bo.

    I read this yesterday afternoon. But I came back and read it again this morning. It’s 4:20AM, and Patrick just headed out the door . . . first, back to Virginia . . . and then, to prepare for all that God (and the Marines) has for his future. Two days was a short visit, and this momma was feeling a bit emotional . . . so your words penetrated deeper (and ministered to me in a deep heart-place) at this early hour. I’ll head back to bed for an hour, but I’ll be up soon to find my early-morning corner too. (I have two MMF interviews at 6AM and 8AM, then another later in the day.)

    Today, I DO want to open all that God has for me. Packages of potent anti-fear, along with little gifts of faith, peace, hope, insight, and vision.

    I appreciate you sharing this sweet, crazy-story. As you let your heart speak in such imaginative ways, we get the picture too.

    I’m so glad you’re my friend!

  10. bolovesjoe says:

    Oh Ann….I cried when I read that. I know you’re a woman of great faith. I admire that in your life so much. But – wow – it was a test for me to send my kids out the door to school and to send Tori three hours to college and Whitney however far away “marriage” is….I can’t imagine sending one on such a big and distant mission. I love you and am praying an EXTRA lot for you today. For your mom-heart and your faith-walk….they are most certainly intertwined. And hey – tell Patrick thank you from us. We’re so grateful for all he’s doing for our country. Love you millions!

  11. So Bo, about that brilliant idea…

    I went home last night, and I took my Bible and literally wrapped it up like a Christmas present and left it on the table with my journal open and pen ready! I thought, “why can’t I be as excited about opening God’s word every morning as I have been for years on Christmas morning to open all my presents?”

    Your illustration resonated deeply in my heart of how God has treasures and gifts waiting for me in his word. If I come to my devotions already excited to see what I find, I can count on the fact that God will never disappoint!

    I thought that if I gave myself a visual representation, like knowing there was a present on the table for me to unwrap the next morning, that it would help me to change my mindset when getting up to spend time with the Lord. And it did just that.

    I woke up and immediately thought of the present on the table, and instead of feeling groggy and wanting to sleep in, my heart actually got excited about getting up to unwrap it. Kind of silly, but it was just what I needed to get the point across to my own self!

    I came with anticipation, and guess what…God did not disappoint. He clearly had something to say, and because I was ready to hear it I recieved it.

  12. bolovesjoe says:

    Oh Jennifer – love it! That’s so sweet and – yes – BRILLIANT. And also: love you! -Bo

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