Being a little less like Amelia just isn’t in the cards for me, I don’t think. Definitely not if I come home wearing a stranger’s clothes, which is what happened last night.
I left my apartment freshly dressed in (what I thought was) light rain attire and quickly learned that my 10 block walk to the church community group would be a very wet adventure.
After about block #2, I realized my shoes were squishing. After block #5, I ducked into an open apartment building doorway and had a one-way conversation with a nice man waiting for the rain to pass. I explained my options: forge on and arrive at a stranger’s house looking like a wet dog or return to my apartment looking like a wet dog without failing a first impression. He seemed to have no opinion either way, so of course I forged ahead, leaving him to laugh in the doorway.
Every bit of me was soaked, from my hooded head to my size six feet. My hair was matted down and my pants had turned a deeper green color. When I got to the house, I apologized instead of introduced myself because I knew I looked frightful. Before I knew it, I was changed into a nice woman’s clothes and munching on vegan chocolate blueberry biscotti on her sofa and listening to her tell their NYC relocation story.
My clothes never did dry, so I wore the nice woman’s clothes back home and made myself a saucepan of hot water (no teapot yet) and some ginseng green tea while I spread out the rain shower I had soaked up in my garments.
Oh, I am ever so grateful for Christian community – where no one is really a stranger and a dry change of clothes is only one knock away! It’s Christian community that keeps Amelia’s like myself clothed and safe. I suppose it takes many invisible miracles to keep my clumsy feet from slipping in this city and for that I am very grateful.
I’ll return the clothes soon and have another reason to knock on that door on Sterling Street. We won’t be strangers anymore (I mean, how can we after sharing closets?) and that has just added three more names to my very slim NYC rolodex.
Now, about getting that wisdom, maybe one can come by it on a round about path. Maybe “getting” wisdom can look like meeting strangers and rain walking and couch conversations, too.
“It has seemed to me sometimes as though the Lord breathes on this poor gray ember of Creation and it turns to radiance – for a moment or a year or the span of a life. And then it sinks back into itself again, and to look at it no one would know it had anything to do with fire, or light.” from Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, p. 280
It is raining today, so describing Creation as a poor gray ember seems fitting. The rain brings the clouds into the streets and muddles the footsteps of the city. Robinson’s character John Ames preached the words above in a Pentecost sermon and remembers them in a letter to his son. He follows the quote by reflecting on his words,
“But the Lord is more constant and far more extravagant than it seems to imply. Wherever you turn your eyes the world can shine like transfiguration. You don’t have to bring a thing to it except a little willingness to see.”
In the middle of spitting and dreary rain it is hard to be hopeful. It is hard to see beyond the poor gray ember or believe it is capable of burning something bright. The way we slide into the gray and adjust to the dullness makes hope a very courageous endeavor. To believe God waits to blow radiance from gray embers is a crazy notion, a grace given to courageous eyes.
We do not believe hope into being true, but instead believe our eyes into seeing that hope is truth.
As Ames reflected on his pentecost words, he qualified his statement by saying God has given us grace to see the radiance that always shines. There is beauty in the mystery of glory hidden and beauty in the mystery of glory revealed. And the radiance always looks like the glory of God.
There is a radiance that always shines and God gives grace for us to open our eyes.
So, so much rain here in Iowa and it’s lovely.
We’re all kind of swimming in it but if you feel a bit like you are drowning, this might be a little light for you. Sometimes rain pulls out the sadness in us like the worms on the sidewalks in the morning – all wiggly and out of place.
If the rain is doing this kind of operation – pulling out old demons and pushing fears in your face – remember that no mistake or circumstance or vice can overcome the One who overcomes.
let LOVE fly like cRaZy
As much as we would like the rain to go away, this news article says it will stick around until January.
The ground is already saturated and all the excess water makes a treacherous course down the mountains and hills, causing landslides in its wake. Much of the coffee and sugar cane crop has suffered terribly due to the rain, so this prescription of rain until January is more than bad news.
Read this article and join me in prayer for the people here in Honduras.
Click here for the article. You will need to translate the page (unless you are fluent in Español), so if you are using a browser capable of translating like Google Chrome, that is best.
These pictures below are from the article and show some of the patterns and movement. Don’t ask me to explain them… I am just relaying the information!
Honduras is affected by the phenomenon of rain has already happened in the 50’s.
A phenomenon called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation has distorted the thermohaline circulation and is producing more rain than they should.
The country is practically in the line of hurricane formation and climate affect Pacific and Atlantic.