Some days burn rubber. By supper time I feel the skid marks dirtying up my soul. Clothes rumpled, makeup smudged, heavy sighs come in groups of threes.
Last night instead of falling on the couch to numb out with the remote or a book, I exchanged dinner dishes for walking shoes.
The sun was low and a warm autumn breeze blew quietly in the grass. The birds and insects chatted companionably as my feet crunched gravel. My ears rang with the leftover noise of the day.
I purposefully moseyed, forcing myself to, just for a few minutes….be.
Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. It took but a few deep breaths until I noticed my body respond. Shoulders unclenched, headache subsided, a simple surrender.
The peace of the pasture reminded me I wasn’t in charge of the world. The hedgerow humbly testified that everything would eventually work out. The standing water in the creek reflected the truth that glory can be found in quiet places.
Evening grace showed up to mosey with me.
It whispered to let go of the day’s sharply spoken words. It invited me to lay down the background hum of hurry up. It put the breaks on my constant hunger for productivity. It reminded me that days are not limitless and only fools ignore the boundaries.
Evening grace asked permission to bookend the close of day.
Saying yes was the best decision. I felt cleaner, the day’s soul dirt rinsed away. I discovered that grace feels a lot like love, covering over a multitude of the day’s sins.
Hope may shine in the dark of morning, but grace arrives just in time for evening.
Wandering home I felt miraculously refreshed. The words of this melancholy hymn from childhood echoed through my thoughts:
Now the day is over,
Night is drawing nigh;
Shadows of the evening
Steal across the sky.
Jesus, give the weary
Calm and sweet repose;
With Thy tend’rest blessing
May mine eyelids close. (listen here…)
I am learning that paying attention to the natural rhythms of the day helps keep me in balance. Evening time is the point where I am most fed up with my own story. I’ve lost the glow of morning hope and the work of the day leaves me hyper aware of my humanity.
Life cries out for grace when you’re trying to cook dinner and manage homework and schedules and are still processing the good/bad/ugly parts of the day.
It’s why numbing out is so seductive. Stepping outside into the coming night for a few minutes may be the key to finishing the day strong.
How much evening grace have I missed by trying to wring the day dry? How better might my story be if I chose to chase the grace that awaits right outside my back door?