There are delicacies for the soul that one experiences in silence. While camping last week, I experienced a lightness that first started in the dark.

Each morning I rose before the sun to witness the changing of the guards: moonlight passing the reigns to daylight. I recall one morning with detail as it carved itself into my being like a whittler to wood.

Sitting quietly in nature, I realize I am not the story but a small part in the story. Were it not for being still this morning, I would have missed hearing the birds sing before first light.

“FAITH is a bird that feels the light and sings when dawn is still dark” (Rabindranath Tagore).

The ticking of the battery-operated clock from within the camper comes to my ears - a patterned drip - a sound I had not been aware of until now, even though I understand it has been there all along. As if my ears have put on glasses, I hear details once blurred. I feel alive - outside of myself and in surrender to the moment - to time itself. A knowing comes over me: If I were in the practice of being still more often, I would recognize God’s presence more. I know God is always with me, but to surrender to Him and experience His presence is something altogether beautiful – a pattern I desire in my life for the whole of my life.

“‘Be still, and know that I am God…’” (Psalm 46:10).

In this surrender to what is, things are neither left or right. They simply are, and I receive them and myself as part of the story. My interpretation and position are just that: mine. And I understand that others may vary in their views as much as the air I breathe and the air itself experience this moment differently.

We are called to love people where they are rather than judging them for who they are not. After all, God loves us as much on our worst day as our best. Love is love and should not be skewed by us thinking we are the main movement in our story. Rather, Love is the action and the author.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him” (1 John 4:7-9).

There is a deep ashen coating on the trees as the sun rises and takes away the moonlit, silvery blue blanket upon the branches. There is something in this captivating view that tickles my soul, and I cannot help but praise God like the songbird who trusts a new view will come.

I think about how quickly what is becomes what was. The sun is now fully awake. Today has arrived: a new adventure. Quiet ashes in the fire pit and a few remnants of wood stacked like a house of cards are all I have left of yesterday. Stirring the white, I uncover flecks of red. Yes, fire is as deceptive as our mind. We can convince ourselves that thoughts are no more, but yesterday’s coals can start a fresh burn if we are not careful.

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139: 23-24).

The morning leaves me with several key thoughts:

1. Faith often begins in the dark.

2. Silence can become a beautiful pattern of peace with the Lord, but I must practice surrender.

3. I am not the story. I am in the story authored by Love Himself.

4. Take care of your thoughts so they don’t continue to smolder.

5. Yesterday is gone. Today is your adventure.

6. Love people where they are – including yourself.

7. Receive what comes with God’s praises on your lips. Be a songbird.

SGLY, dear readers.

(Smile, God Loves You.)

Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian Author and opinion columnist. Submit feedback and connect for more soul lifts on Facebook: Tiffany Kaye Chartier, Instagram:@tiffanysgly, and Twitter: @tiffanychartier.