Is it supposed to rain?, she asked, paying more attention to the obvious wet and clouds than I was. Our youngest reached down into our big wicker basket in the front room that contains a myriad of going out type objects (jackets, a canvas tote for groceries, a pair of flip flops...). She grabbed a maimed umbrella, the only kind we have and tucked it under a full arm. She was determined, as she always is, to be prepared for the elements.
I'm ok with the elements as long as I can hide from them. Last night the rain was beautiful from underneath my roof. Our shingles became an auditorium of applause as they hosted the raindrops. It was an appropriate ending to a nicely orchestrated day. Untouched, safe...dry under the sheets, I was lulled to sleep.
The rain isn’t always so nice. It interjects itself in my path at the most inconvenient times. Like a family member whose urgent need is to call me when I’m in an important meeting, the rain demands my attention when I'm ill-equipped to handle it. It comes at me when I have a car full of groceries that need unloading. Storms dilly dally in early afternoons choosing arrival precisely at 3:25, the time the kids get out of school. And this is just the inconsequential stuff, there's rain that reeks real havoc.
Rain that I didn't order, rain that doesn't wait to be invited, rain that gets close enough to touch my skin isn't welcome. When it imposes itself, I run. Not the fun kind of running where I allow my feet to make artful splashes. Come to think of it, rain in close proximity causes me to run, not in it, from it. I avoid it. As if it holds no purpose I do my best to escape it.
Soggy scenarios are often unavoidable. I know too that there's a rhythm to rain, a reason for it.
Because we can't hide from the rain maybe we ought to learn to tromp more boldly in it. More than escape, we need to remember our covering. Something we can hold on to when we can't control the elements. Something that will assure us that, yes, there's a time to run and there's a time to be still . But more, there's a time to move deliberately, even in a downpour. We need to replace broken umbrellas those things, in error, we keep around that are unable of providing the protection we need.
Scripture talks about refuge. We're allowed to hide. A refuge, still and strong, provides safety, but most refuges are notably immobile. We're sometimes called to move, to face the rain.
Let me dwell in your tent forever; Let me take refuge in the shelter of your wings. Psalm 61:4
God provides us a tent and wings, a covering for when we're called to move, because we can't always hide or escape.
For in him we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28
Someone has said You can't run and you can't hide. For those times I can't, I'm getting rid of broken umbrellas. I ordered two new ones this morning, one pink and one mint green. If inevitable rain is on my radar, I'm determined to walk, maybe resign to some intentional splashing.
In what way, that you've been avoiding, is God calling you to move?