There is irony in advancement as familiar faces show up who haven’t been there in a while. Reconnecting with family and friends is an unexpected bonus when one deliberately seeks the divine.
It’s the little things…….the way they hold eye contact, greet me with a hug, hold my hand like they are tethering me back to what is good, holy, and loving. It’s the way they seek me out to tell me their story of heartache knowing that there will be a new depth of understanding…….we see it in each other’s eyes.
Advancing toward what is divine has inadvertently sent out a calling card of hope to many who are in pain. They are hearing the swish and smelling the rain. There is a story told of a little girl who was in a violent home and was badly abused. One night she hid behind the couch not knowing if her mother was dead or alive. Later she talked about how someone was there with her who smelled like rain. Someone was there who held her, protected her, comforted her, and provided for her.
The problem with the divine is that it does not exist or behave as we think it should. We look at the horror and ask why it is not being stopped when the correct answer lies in the awareness that we are held while it is happening………tell me, did you smell the rain?
It has rained a lot this winter. There was thunder in January. There has been gentle soft drizzles and violent lashing of wind and cold. In all of it, there is that soft, unmistakable scent of newness, of comfort, of nourishment, of baptism.
Often in our darkest midnights, we can no longer feel God and yet, we have been promised that God will never leave us or forsake us. Our mistake is that we often equate God with God’s people. People will fail and that is okay. God doesn’t fail even when we feel failed. Those loving and familiar faces are there even when we cannot see them.
They are the people who have been praying for us all along. The people helplessly watching and begging God for the rain. So often, evil is the loud gongs, the consistent mind-rattling buzzing, the exhausting jack-hammering and the veil that disguises the good. Good is so often silent, hidden, and frustrated.
When that which is evil is eclipsing the Son, life becomes about letting the Son shine again. This isn’t about the power of the divine but about our ability to have faith even when we do not feel faith or feel the divine. As small as a mustard seed……..and yet, the mountain didn’t move……..as small as a mustard seed………and yet, good did not prevail……..yet………
Familiar faces remind me of time. The children I babysat are in college now. The young newly married couple has children now. The middle-aged couple are retired now. That little brat who found the soft spot in my heart is all grown up now. Time……..
Asparagus takes three years to produce a crop. Waiting can be hard. It doesn’t fell right. We are supposed to have a crop at harvest time; after all, we are picking tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and melons…..so where is the asparagus? Three years is a long time. A lot can happen in three years. Sometimes, we are not the ones who will get to pick the asparagus. Sometimes, there soil is bad, there are too many stumps, rocks, and weeds. Sometimes, it hasn’t rained in a while. So, we wait and we keep ourselves ready to reap the harvest knowing that that which must be broken will break, that which must die will die, and that which must be removed will be removed…….and we wait for the rain……….breath in………do you smell it?