16 May Dancing in the Rain
There is a magnet on my refrigerator that says, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
It has felt a bit like I am standing under a rain cloud of late. So far this week I’ve texted with a friend who will have an MRI on Monday for a scary-looking mass causing loss of hearing in one ear. I’ve finalized a funeral bulletin. I’ve made a hospital visit to one of our nonagenarians having a heart procedure, while two more nonagenarians were moved to rehab over the weekend after hospital stints. I’ve talked every day with a relative who needs a follow-up procedure after a recent test revealed an abnormality. Numerous other friends and parishioners are dealing with various stages of acute or chronic illnesses, or grieving recent losses, or experiencing stressful circumstances.
I confess that there are moments I want to run away and hide from all the trouble—but of course, I can’t hide from my own life. My concern for all these folks would go with me wherever I go, and challenges and difficulties are just part and parcel of being human. Still, it does seem like a lot all at once, and I sometimes feel as though I’ve misplaced my umbrella.
Despite the deluge of stormy news, it is equally true that amid these concerns, I have much to appreciate and celebrate. I spent part of last weekend planting flowers, working in the yard, and declaring the deck “open for business.” I received a phone call from a church member who is in Ghana visiting family and greeted another parishioner returning from vacation. Last Sunday I presented a new Bible to a delighted (and delightful!) third grader. I had a lovely Mother’s Day with my children and their Significant Others.
This is, I think, what it means to “dance in the rain.” Life is always a “both/and.” There are challenges, yes and always, and at the same time, the blossoms in my garden and hanging baskets remind me of the eternal promise of new life. Winter always gives way to Spring. While I reckon with my own mortality, I also embrace this day, this work, this interaction, experience, opportunity, task. I express gratitude for the good, the joy, the beauty, the love while at the same time acknowledging the work that is required to deal with the ever-present reality of evil, my own disappointments and hurts, the fear of the unknown and unknowable.
When God wanted to provide a visual reminder of hope and grace, a reminder of the eternal promise that evil will not have the final word on the human story, God gave us a rainbow. How beautiful. And appropriate. For all of us who need help lifting our face to the rain, reclaiming the joy of puddle-jumping, and rediscovering the song that resides in our heart just waiting to be sung to the tune of raindrops, let us focus our attention once again on the rainbow breaking in upon our storms. It is God’s way of tapping us on the shoulder to say, “I’m here; you’re not alone. So, let’s dance.”
Yours for the Kingdom,