Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sometimes it pours

When it rains, sometimes it pours, an unending cascade creating puddles that soak my shoes and socks.  When it seems as if the gray clouds will never lift, and before they do, there's a strike of lightning and all is uneasy.  Sometimes the weight of humid air feels suffocating and the weather inside is as dismal as outside.

There are moments that seem as if they will pull us over the edge, and we keep standing, although the ground tilts again and again.  "How long, O Lord?"  How much more can one person possibly bear?  They say that strength is built in such moments, in the times we feel our weakest.  I carry the scars from such struggles and I know its truth, and yet each time it seems impossible to remain on level ground.

Other days seem golden, as if everything we touch is surrounded in light.  These are days when beauty seems  so close and each new event connects us to other people and to our place in this world.  The impossible seems possible and magic seems a little more real.  Our lives are made of this journey, from darkness to light and back again, ever-circling inward and outward.

As a chaplain, I am witness to so much loss and hurt and pain.  I'm asked time and time again why so much bad can happen to one person all at once.  How can a person get over such grief?  After fourteen years, I have no answers but my own, and no hope but God's.  There is no way to get over the pain; we must simply journey through it.  Like the Israelites wandering in the desert for forty years, we get lost and are found again and again.  Sometimes we are rescued, but often, we walk in faith, trusting in the unseen hand of God that guides us with a cloud and a pillar of fire.  We walk on weary legs, stumbling, thirsty, and fall again and again.  Until one day, we catch a glimpse of the light and know that the Promised Land is before us.  And so, we stand up again and walk, knowing hope, feeling strength gained from the journey, and trusting that something better awaits us.

There are seasons of rain, and times when we are stuck in the desert.  There are moments of beauty and clashes with reality.  These are the gifts of God who is always leading us out, bringing us through, and showing us the truth of our lives in joy and pain.  

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

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