My alarm buzzes at 5.25am. It takes a few minutes to rouse from my slumber, but it’s not a dread I wake up with, more anticipation.
I get out of bed, quietly, trying not to wake my sleeping husband. I go to the loo, have a quick swill of mouthwash then retrieve yesterday’s clothes that I laid out in the lounge in preparation for this morning and get dressed.
I’m thankful it’s a chilly -6° and dry – I don’t have to scrape ice or brush snow from my car.
I expect the world to be quiet… there are no birds up yet, dawn has not yet peaked through, but a couple walk past as I get in the car, and as I drive I see handfuls of people in CrossFit gyms and Starbucks stores.
There’s a calm across the city. Only the intentional are up at this time.
I’m on Granville Street – the road to the airport, sharing the road with other sojourners at the beginning of an adventure.
I don’t join them all the way though, I take a right onto 43rd, the building with the tower and the round windows.
It’s a different adventure for me. To carve out a time I would usually be resting in bed and give it to Him that created me, in prayer. Joining with my community for a full week, 24/7, to lift our voices to heaven, in praise, adoration, desperation, longing, and humility. It’s an adventure for sure.
One car parked outside. I’m ready to take on the baton.
I knock on the door, greeted by a smile so wide – not a smile you’d generally expect to receive at 6am knowing the person has been here an hour already – but somehow this is different. This room, this plain yellow meeting room has become a sanctuary for the week – the place where we draw near to the Most High – an unexpected modern day tabernacle. What greeting would you expect from somebody leaving the modern day equivalent of the most intimate space we can be in with God, the “portable earthly dwelling of God”, except for a huge grin?
It’s warm, and cosy, and although I have the room to myself, I don’t feel alone. I can almost feel the hundreds of hours of prayers that have saturated the air over the previous years this room has had this purpose.
Who is awake at 5.28?
A weary, desperate soul, needing a fresh encounter with the God who became man to experience our pain, our reality.
I leave the room, and as fresh snow falls on my coat, a fresh wakening is falling into place within me.
The world comes alive at 7.22 and so do I – in You.