Today, I saw an sudden transformation- from the lazy peace of a hazy summer Sunday afternoon, the kind where the heat looms and the humidity presses, just a little, just enough to make you think about ponds and swimming pools, and other places of relief (or a cool dark basement, depending on your preferences).
Transformed to a sky seemingly overflowing with churning clouds, with a wind, not just a breeze, heavy with the scent of rain, and the birds singing as they can only sing when something is about to happen. A transformation that even my children can sense, as they feel a sense of anticipation that is nearly tangible in the natural world, as they bike and fall and disagree.
And I wait, watching, knowing that the summer storm will do what it alway does to my churning mind, my head aswirl with 22 problems, none
of them with any right or wrong answers. Questions, responsiblities, hopes, dreams, all unrealized, all unanswered are like that storm in my head – pushing, pulling, prying. My future, my past, my friends, my enemies, all swirling together in the maelstorm of my mind.
And then the wind comes – and with it the rain. Driven- falling horizontally, as if it hadn’t got the memo that it was supposed to fall straight down. Bouncing off the windows and the walls of a house that dared to stand against the storm. I stand, under a roof (ever practical, I am), and watch and wait and think and feel the storm itself. Until it seems that what is happening outside is nearly a perfect mirror image of what is going on in a head that is completely out of control. A world full of people who need Good News, a world full of hurt, of pain of loss, a family that needs care (better than I can give), a career that can sometimes push the boundaries of the demanding- I stand there, and I feel the storm. And I can’t help but marvel at the Hand of the One who made it so.
And like that, the storm passes, pushed away by the wings of the same wind that brought it in. I head back inside to a semblance of normalcy – with peace and sunshine on the outside but the storm still raging on the inside. And mostly make a fool out of myself – but that’s another story.
We eat, at a table filled with laughter, and the kind of irrepressible hope and humor that only those who haven’t seen the darkness can share- those young rays of light in a world that has gone completely off of its axis.
Then, I watch a skit and hear a song, pounded out by the hands of one who can’t read music but knows, almost naturally, what it means to make a joyful noise- with a seven year old’s smile of pure delight. Then quiet again as another potential opportunity for destruction catches their attention and I am left alone once again.
And there, at God’s table, hidden in the book of Isaiah- I find the answer to the storm within- Where the God of peace Himself reminds us in 26:12 that it is Him, and him alone who establishes peace for us…and most importantly – reminds us that He has done all our work for us.
You see, those storms rage most cruelly, most loudly, when I feel like I can’t get it together. But He tells me, in words that are almost too wonderfully possible to understand, that He has already done it all. Then I look up, out a window, at a world bathed in the golden glow of the setting sun, on a rain washed field and forest of green that seems so verdant as to almost be improbable and I remember – His three words: “Peace, Be Still”.
Realizing, that answers don’t matter at all, nor do the right words, or having it all together. I am simply called in the midst of the chaos to be still, and to remember, that He has already done everything that is really important. All that is left for me to do is to tell that story- the story of the place where grace broke in, and not worry about the rest of the chapters that remain to be written. It is hard to be the ink, in the pen of the Writer, but I wait. I wait, because this is the story that one day will all make sense, when I can see past my paragraph in the storm.