In the Morning…

As many Americans, I have watched with disbelief and sadness events that have taken place in my country and in my home city of Washington, DC over the last days. I have felt unable to add words. This morning I rose early to watch the sunrise on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where I’ve been living this year.

I listened for inspiration. I wasn’t seeking political answers or recriminations, justifications or blame. I wanted inspiration to move forward. I share here the verse that came into my thought and the photos of the morning: 

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” Romans 13:12

(Photo credits: Joanne Leedom-Ackerman)


  1. Ronny Stoddart on January 8, 2021 at 1:51 pm


    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful inspiration — so perfect for this moment. Let us welcome the dawn of a new day as we put this dark chapter behind us.

    Much love,


    • Joanne on January 12, 2021 at 1:30 pm

      Thank you, Ronny. I hope we can & will.

  2. Deena on January 8, 2021 at 1:54 pm

    Thank you, Joanne! Wednesday was one of the saddest days in my memory. As I watched the news (while preparing to leave the office due to the curfew), my heart broke to see one of the most important and symbolic buildings in our country being desecrated! Thanks for reminding us to look toward the light!!!

    • Joanne on January 12, 2021 at 1:33 pm

      Thank you, Deena. It is particularly difficult for those who live in DC and also consider the Capitol their backyard.

  3. Temple on January 8, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    That verse and photos were the perfect inspiration to start a new day and chapter. Thank you!

    • Joanne on January 12, 2021 at 1:35 pm

      Thank you, Temple, for being in touch over many years. Yes,, a new day and chapter let us hope.

  4. Azar Nafisi on January 8, 2021 at 1:59 pm


    Thank you for reminding us of the light.

    Hoping you & family are safe and well.

    • Joanne on January 12, 2021 at 1:37 pm

      Azar—Missing our coffees and the shared light of conversation. Soon I hope for all of us.

  5. Chris Slaughter on January 8, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    Beautiful. Inspiring. Thank you.

    • Joanne on January 12, 2021 at 1:40 pm

      Thank you, Chris!

  6. Lisa Dworkin on January 8, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    I love the power of light and sky to help us move beyond. Thank you for sharing this beautiful moment. Much needed.

    Stay safe and strong.

    xo Lisa

    • Joanne on January 12, 2021 at 1:42 pm

      Thank you, Lisa. You look through the eyes of an artist which is a perspective that is healing..

  7. Stephen Goodwin on January 8, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    Thanks — that verse was part of evening prayer at my high school. A good time to remember it.

    • Joanne on January 12, 2021 at 1:50 pm

      Interesting the verse was part of your high school. It is an inspiring and ecumenical message, I think. Glad to be in touch.

  8. Eric Lax on January 8, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    Apt in every way, Joanne. The perfect injunction for this moment in our history. And the photo sequence is gorgeous. Thank you!💐

    • Joanne on January 12, 2021 at 1:51 pm

      Thank you, Eric. Thank you for your inspiration too.

  9. Florence Janovic on January 8, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    Thanks. Here in NYC even the sun had trouble coming up this a.m. The Proud Boys were staying around the corner from my sister’s condo in D.C. which had hired a security guard. They were smart enough to be prepared but the D.C. police weren’t. Horror upon horror upon horror. As I watched I kept screaming because the police were helping women protestors down the stairs. They should have been hand-cuffing them. (Me, I would have pushed them down the stairs.) So worried about the next 12 days. Hope the 25th Amendment can pass.

    • Joanne on January 12, 2021 at 1:55 pm

      We are looking forward to a healing time which must also include consequences. And I look forward to seeing friends in person at some point.

    • Joanne on January 12, 2021 at 3:58 pm

      I look forward to the time soon, I hope, when we can see each other in person and see a country healing.

  10. Julia Malone on January 8, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    Thank you for sharing the powerful inspiration and pictures, which perfectly depict the events of this past week and confidence that the light of truth will outshine the darkness. I believe our country is up to the challenge of proving that America can live up to its ideals, and a much better democracy will emerge.

    • Joanne on January 12, 2021 at 1:57 pm

      I love your point of view, seeing a stronger democracy and country emerge and light outshining darkness, actually eliminating the dark.

  11. Maryann Macdonald on January 8, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    “…the armor of light.” Perfect. Thanks for sharing.

    • Joanne on January 12, 2021 at 2:00 pm

      Thank you, Maryann. Yes, I love the image too—“an armor of light.”

  12. Katherine Stephen on January 8, 2021 at 8:28 pm

    Thank you, Joanne, for this inspirational post. I loved the Biblical quotation and the beautiful photos.

    • Joanne on January 12, 2021 at 2:02 pm

      Thank you, Kathy. The verse is one I’ve always cherished but hadn’t thought of in a while.

  13. David N. Smith on January 9, 2021 at 2:58 am


  14. David N. Smith on January 9, 2021 at 2:59 am

    Well said.

    • Joanne on January 12, 2021 at 2:02 pm

      Thank you, David!

  15. Chiara Macconi on January 9, 2021 at 11:15 am

    Dear Joanne
    Thanks for your suggestion, nurturing our feelings and our eyes. Light is wonderful and definitely needed but we must understand the cause of darkness…no armour, just light

    • Joanne on January 12, 2021 at 2:04 pm

      Thank you for your insight too, Chiara. I look forward to us all seeing each other across oceans again.

  16. Gordon on January 9, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    Truth and beauty. Mindfulness and honesty.

    • Joanne on January 12, 2021 at 2:05 pm

      Thank you, Gordon!

  17. Sally Howell on January 10, 2021 at 2:24 am

    Thank you so much, Joanne, for images and words to remind us that “light” is the armour!

    • Joanne on January 12, 2021 at 2:06 pm

      Thank you, Sally, yours is another artist’s eye attune to light.

  18. Mark Swinney on January 10, 2021 at 10:51 am

    Joanne, thank you so much for this message. And I loved reading everyone’s comments. The pictures made me think of times that, together with a friend or a member of our family, we may have watched a sunrise. Words can hardly describe how the light can be so beautiful sometimes. If you glance at the person you’re with, you see the soft glow of the sun’s light reflected on your faces.

    Neither of you, of course, created any of the light or the beautiful colors. You both just bask in them. Even if you moved a mile apart from one-another, you’d still be enjoying the same sun, the same light.

    This makes me think of how things work in a similar way with the light of God’s love. People don’t create their own personal love with which to love others. They simply reflect the beauty of God’s love, and happily share in it. No matter how far apart one person ever may be from another, they both are basking in exactly the same light, the same love.

    All the love that another person ever has shared with us, we get to keep. It’s God’s love, reflected, and forever has a permanent place in our hearts.

    • Joanne on January 12, 2021 at 2:08 pm

      Thank you, Mark, for opening up the idea so profoundly. Yes, reflected light!

  19. Bonnie Raphael on January 12, 2021 at 12:34 am

    Dear Joanne, Thank you for the reminder “…to put on the armour of light.” I have felt these words and their deeper meaning throughout 2020. They are needed, and I believe that they are heard, now more than ever.
    With heartfelt appreciation for your continued important work, and the illumination of the darkness that it brings.
    Bonnie Raphael

  20. Joanne on January 12, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    Bonnie, How nice to hear from you. As an artist I know you also consider the importance and consequence of light.

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