The first great moment that I remember was when I was three years old– a storm – I tore my clothes and ran out in it – and I have been doing that in storms ever since. - Kahlil Gibran
Why do we run from it? To be protected from the knocking of it's raindrops. Sheltered from it's wind. Covered from it's wetness. Are we afraid? Just to stand out in it and let it soak us to the core. Not to hide from it or run from it. Not to find protection from it under a newspaper, an umbrella, or a roof. What if we just didn't. What if we just let it do it's thing and cover us? What if we walked in it proudly? Standing tall and uncowardedly? As if we weren't smaller than it or fearful of it's outcome. We would be uncomfortable and wet and yucky. And then, if we surrendered to it, we would just be part of it in a way. Letting it wash over us.
Not so unlike life and suffering and the scars that living brings. I find myself called into dark and broken places. Sometimes that can be in a country torn apart by war. Sometimes that can be holding the hand of child whose mother took her life. Sometimes it's on my own knees on my own floor putting my own pieces back together. But I have learned not to fight it. I looked at people rushing away from it today. The rain. Into cars. Into buildings. Covering their heads as if they would melt if they let it touch them. And I wondered.
What if we were bold enough to stand out in it and just be drenched. Surrendering to the drops and letting it's warmth wash over us?
So I did.
Why not? What are we so afraid of ? We happily get in the shower each day and think of it as uplifting. But when we don't choose to get wet. When life happens and it chooses us. When the water comes down over us at times when we don't turn on the facet or we don't get to choose the temperature.... then it's an inconvenience and we run.
And we hide.
I got angry today. I rarely get angry. It wasn't a pretty angry or sheltered. It wasn't covered or hidden. It was me sitting and kneeling at the foot of a 60 foot white cross. My head was down on the wet stone steps leading up to it. Feeling the feelings that many would run away from because they are uncomfortable. Remembering the drama the former child soldiers acted out of their abduction and being force to kill. And I thought.....
The question is not why there is suffering. It is not why life happens the way that it happens or why we ask and do not receive. The question is "What, Lord, will you teach me from my suffering? How can you use this uncomfortable, unplanned, storm of life to help me to love more like you and trust you more?"
And I look up. How?
Maybe the question is not, "God what will you do FOR me? Maybe the question is what will you do WITH me?"
There was a car to my right and another coming around the bend and I didn't care. I did not run and I did not hide. The raindrops fell over me.....
I don't think I have ever felt more free in my life.
Life has taught me much. God has taught me more. I have learned..... to cry when I need to cry. To laugh when I need to laugh. To dance when I need to dance. To kneel when I need to kneel. In the rain. Out of the rain.
Sitting there. Kneeling there. It rained down and I took it all. Every drop. Soaking it in as if it were a covering all around me. Washing over me like a welcomed showered blanket of Fearlessness from the Heavens.
I had this thought....
These places I am called to. They are not pretty. These scars. They are not neat. These tears. They are not tidy or clean or sheltered. They flow. Freely sometimes.
But I am so happy. So full of joy. I have been made for this. Not for suffering, but for Hope. To make sense out of the senseless and to see the good in pure evil.
To scream into the storms,
"There is a tomorrow." There is a tomorrow. And the night will fall and the day will dawn. And there will be light. There WILL be light.
I get back in the car, soaking wet, and hear this song..... And I smile. Take a listen.
I wonder things. I wonder a lot of things. I tend to wonder more things when it's raining. It's like the rain somehow causes me to feel protected enough to think deeper. To feel deeper. Like yesterday. I watched it. The rain. And I wondered......