I had to drive to work today through a sun-shower. Have you ever experienced one of those? I’m not even sure that’s what they're really called; that’s just what my mom used to call them when I was a kid. A sun-shower is the phenomena when, even though the sun is shining all around you, there is cloud, right above your head and just out of your field of vision, that is raining on you. You’re surrounded by beautiful golden sunshine, and yet you are getting drenched.
That’s what it was like when I drove to work this morning. I was driving east, so the sun was shining in all of its glory, dazzling and bright, right in front of me, and yet it was dark and stormy immediately around me. I was in a storm, despite the light that I could so clearly see ahead.
As I was driving, I felt that the weather was a perfect symbol of my life right now. It fit the mood I was in perfectly. You see, I’m a Christian. It’s not just my belief system, or something I do; it’s who I am. I gave my life to Christ years ago, and since then, I have learned to trust God with most things in my life. I have seen unexplainable things that can only be defined as miracles, and have learned to know that He is in control, no matter what the circumstances in my life. And yet, like that bright sunshine all around my car, that knowledge doesn’t keep the storms of circumstance from raining down upon me.
My job is very rewarding, and I love it, but it is very stressful and takes time from my family. Rain. My husband and I have been going through a rough patch off and on for the past year. In the good times, we are best friends. In the worst times, we are hostile, silent strangers that just happen to dwell in the same residence. More rain. I just received a letter in the mail today from my landlords saying that they are retiring from the real estate business, have sold the house I currently live in, and we must move in 60 days- This in post-Katrina housing market. More rain. As the saying goes, “When it rains, it pours.”
It's not that I have lost sight of my faith in God. I can still see Him shining all around me, like that big, glaring sun just ahead. Its just the rain around me is making my vision a little hazy. But God is good. Just when I am about to lose sight of him, just when I am ready to succumb to the rain and drown in the worries around me, he send me a sign to remind me that yes, he does see me, and yes, he is still in control. As I was driving down the road, listening to Twila Paris song that I enjoy in my more melancholy moments, my daughters squeals from the back seat, “Look, Mommy, a rainbow!”
I glanced in my rearview mirror, and sure enough, sitting right in front of the dark storm cloud I had just come out from underneath, was the biggest, most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen. I have never seen one so bright or with such rich colors before. The hues appeared all the more vibrant because of the contrast of the darkness behind them. If I hadn’t had my young child in the car with me, I probably would have lost complete control and wrecked the car right then. As it was, I just started bawling as I answered, “Yes, Baby, I see it. It’s a rainbow! A big, beautiful rainbow! I see it. I see the rainbow.” Then through my tears, I began singing at the top of my lungs along with Twila,” They don’t know that I go running’ home when I fall down. They don’t know who picks me up when no one is around. I drop my sword and look up for a smile- ‘Cause deep inside this armor, the warrior is a child.”
Yes, I drove through a sun-shower this morning, but I came out on the other side. But the great thing about sun-showers is you never truly lose sight of the light. And after all, if there were no sun-showers, we’d never get to enjoy such beautiful rainbows, those beautiful promises that god will not abandon us to drown in the floods caused by our circumstance.
“This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between me and the Earth…Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. (Gen 9:12-14, abridged)