Sometimes I’m ready for the downpour and sometimes I left my umbrella by my back door. It was this thought that summed up my weekend, but didn’t become a teachable moment until today’s spring rain.
I was completely prepared for a wonderful weekend full of old friends; all wonderful people who love me, love fun, love Jesus, and love each other. The weather ball showed a marvelous weekend of hanging out and witnessing a beautiful wedding. Not a whole lot could beat sitting around a campfire or sharing a piece of wedding pie with these people. I was ready for this. I even made sure to not drink a lot of water in those days so I wouldn’t ever “pee a lil’” from laughing too hard. I knew of this sunshiney weather; I wore my sunscreen and brought my parasol.
When the downpour of an old hurt came at the end of the reception, I couldn’t have been less prepared. It’s like I hadn’t seen a forecast in my life. My eyes wept a new rain. Hurt puddled in my heart and nothing I could do would carry me fast enough to get out of that downpour. My umbrella seemed 354 miles away.
Isn’t it funny that rain, something cleansing and calming, a beautiful reminder that Jehovah is a provider to us by being a caretaker for the land, is also something that ruins our plans and puts a damper on our days? And a bright day of sunshine? Armed with spf, a hat, or a parasol, one can steer clear of bright red and sore skin. Otherwise, something warming and happy adds soreness and pain later in the evening and tomorrow. An umbrella can keep us from dripping with regret and hurt or being burnt by relationships past.
I will never carry a purse big enough for an umbrella on April days and a parasol in the August heat. Nor will Michigan ever allow me to fully prepare for whatever weather it deems appropriate. And that’s okay. Though I came back to work after lunch dripping wet and freezing cold, I also had joy and a good story. Rain and sunshine are both growth producing and necessary for all of creation; myself included. Today’s lunch break downpour was good for my spirit; the sunshine that followed good for my soul. This weekend’s weather will produce growth someday down the road as long as I don’t stand in the way. Wild flowers produce heartier, better tasting, and more beautiful colors than something grown under the constant shelter of a greenhouse roof anyway.