Here in Colorado, it’s not terribly common for us to have gloomy weather for extended periods of time. And although we’re not quite there yet this season, the on again/off again rain lately caught me on my hikes both days this weekend. I don’t know if my dog will ever forgive me. In fact, after yesterday’s sudden outburst of hail, thunder, and torrential rain, today she looked at me in a way that seemed to ask, “Are you sure it’s not going to do that on today’s hike?” I shrugged my shoulders and said, “I don’t know, let’s go find out.”
As I said, she may never trust me again.
Anyway, during today’s muddy, wet adventure, a couple things occurred to me that I thought would be worth sharing.
First, I remembered times when I’ve flown on a rainy day. Anyone who has taken off from Denver International Airport knows that on a good day, you’re in for a bumpy ride, given the seemingly random and swirling winds that toss our giant metal tube about like it’s a paper airplane. Rain and thunderstorms only add to the harrowing adventure.
But here’s the thing. Just when the flight is as turbulent as it can be, and the woman across the aisle is filling her barf bag, and I begin to wonder how much more I or our aircraft can take, we burst through the clouds.
Angelic choirs break into song. For a moment, we appear weightless, floating on top of the very clouds that abused us on our ascent. Sunlight glistens off our rain-drenched airplane’s wings, illuminates the flowing cotton clouds, gentle and peaceful as far as our eyes can see.
I remembered that today, getting caught in my second sudden rainstorm in as many days. It may be gray and gloomy where I am standing. You may be cold and wet and shivering, wish you were anywhere but where you are. But somewhere above, the sun is shining in dazzling and unexpected ways.
Or maybe it’s better to say, the Son is shining in dazzling and unexpected ways.
That’s always going on, even if we can’t see it. Even when we’re caught in a surprise storm.
The second thought came to me when the sun came out, even though it was still raining. I mean, how could you need sunglasses and a raincoat at the same moment? Does anyone else find that odd?
Anyway, as I was hiking along in the sunny rain, with my dog and my older daughter grumbling at me, it struck me as a metaphor for life. On any given day–indeed, at any given moment–we can be joyful while we grapple with a problem we haven’t yet found a solution for, or we can be fearful for our future while we find a few moments of laughter surrounded by friends.
I had a pastor who used to say that we live in the tension between the now and the not yet. And I think that’s it. That’s life in all its gloom and glory.
It’s a hike through the woods on a sunny, rainy day.
But in the end, the clouds scattered and there was only sun. And in the end, there will only be the Son.