Sunday, February 27, 2011

The rain is useful. The storm is beautiful.

I wonder if this is the first of many nights I will spend time talking to my son about why lightning and thunder exist? Calming, talking to him about the usefulnes of the rain and the beauty of the storm around our house. My own words enlighteded my thinking.

I have very blissful, memories of the rain. I have many not-so blissful memories of the rain- in the storm.

Like: Walking back from All College HIke, Sophomore year with Mandy Bristol. When we got home we laid down on the tennis courts and watched it rain. We danced, jumped in puddles- like little girls and soaked up every drop of the rain- almost literally.

Like: Standing at Agape next to my (someday) husband worshiping in the pouring rain, lifting my hands to my creator and feeling His Holy Spirit raining down on me, like the physical drops of rain on my face. Soaked to the bone.

Like: Sleeping in a 5 person cabin with 10 Jr. High and High school students- Paul and I the division between boys and girls. Laying there- in a warm dry bed, surrounded by love and complete JOY- while outside our tents laid in the mud- soaked, flooded and floating.

Like: Being allowed to torment my sister with my wild sleeping habits when it stormed.

Like: Sitting on a cooler in that creepy, Kansas cellar in the summer. Cob-webs, canned pickles, in the candelit night. Never knowing what might crawl up my bare legs and into my jammies. Always thankful to return to my own bed, but shaken by the fear of the storm.

Like: Driving across town to pick up Grandma Stout so she could come to our cellar, all the while the tornado sirens blaring their warning.

Like: Laying in our trailer at Sky Lodge, hoping the towels that we had duct taped to the ceiling would hold up through the night. Praying the rumbles of the booming storm wouldn't wake our sleeping son.

Like: stading in the bedroom door and telling my mom that I was scared of the storm and that it was making its way inside of our house by way of the front door. She didn't believe me until she was picking up the golf ball sized hail off of the floor in the bathroom a moment later.

Looking back I can remember the same soothings. We need the rain. God is making this storm, just for us. He keeps us safe even though we are in the storm. Talking about why lightning and thunder exist. Wondering what God looks like when He paints the storm.

Tonight- I am wondering more what He is thinking about when he paints the storm. Rain is useful. Storms are beautiful. I can look back and see the beauty within those drippy moments- the JOY that came from them. I can look back and see His protection of me in those violent Kansas storms. I even like to talk about them now.

Still the storm continues. I am trying to admire its beauty and appreciate its usefulness. This storm, though, is long. It's raining hard and I'm feeling a little like Payton, unsure, scared, not convinced. Even still, I'm listening intently for the whispers to my heart that the rain is useful and the storm is beautiful. I do believe it, I know I'll admire this rain someday.

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