Today is day 2 of ‘springing forward;’ which usually feels like ‘dragging, one-step-at-a-time,’ in order to adjust to a new schedule. As I accompanied my daughter, on her distracted and dawdling way to the bus, I marveled anew, that in spite of her profound array of special needs, she can pretty much daily show up with a cheerful attitude and not too much coaxing and cajoling. The ‘pretty-much-every-day’ is what gets me.
As we trundled our way to the bottom of the hill, dawn crept up the sky; this dawn, unedited and extravagant, delivering a message. I was struck dumb, and continue struggling to find words. Even after the bus had come and gone, I stood still and let the majesty and the magnitude of God’s unspoken words wash over me.
I am here. Every day. Showing up.
Though the air is unseasonably warm this morning, there is a brisk wind out of the southeast – that too, an atypical direction. I could feel it picking up as God continued to paint the sky.
I am here in the storm. I was here BEFORE the storm.
I’ve been in what feels like a crop-flattening storm lately, so those words are ponder-worthy: What does it mean for God to have been here, displaying His Glory, before the storm? And why, today, does he deliver a message, not quietly on paper, but painted and wind-propelled, across the whole sky? In one instant, the sky was 157 degrees of pink, from southeast to west-northwest. Before the day even started…
If God can paint the sky east to west, can he not then paint a life, my life, a different shade of storm-cellar grey? Can he not at least ‘brighten up’ my perspective? Can he not transfigure the bleak questions of this season; questions of fear and unknowing and loss, into some realization of the beauty of his goodness? Some realization of who he is, starling though it is against that stark grey backdrop?
We’ve been reading the book of Mark during this pre-spring.
After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.
5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)
7 Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”
8 Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.
"Mark 9:1 (NIV) - And he said to them." Blue Letter Bible. Web. 13 Mar, 2018. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/niv/mar/9/1/p1/s_966001>.
“This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him” This after Jesus has told them he must suffer and be killed and rise again. Can you imagine the questions in their minds? ‘Listen to him’…after his stark announcement of impending suffering, even death?
“This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him.” This… after the radiance, and a sighting of Elijah and Moses. Wouldn’t that still one’s run-on of questions just for a moment? Storm and light, juxta-positioned.
I feel like God completely transfigured the sky this morning. Midst the dismay of surveying what I have presumed to be ‘Crop damage’ from the storms in our life, I feel a bit like Peter, I’ve experienced a great sense of loss and some hyper-anxiety. What to do, think, feel, say??? So when Peter suggests doing something…ANYTHING…I can relate. But perhaps I should still the questions, and listen…
I was here, before the storm. “This is my beloved Son, listen to him.”
And from another story, I am here, in the storm; “Why are you so afraid?”
Jesus Calms the Storm
35 As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.
38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”
39 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. 40 Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
“This is my son, whom I love… listen to him…”
Lord Jesus, the proclamation of the dawn, has left me speechless. Speechless enough to feel a burble of hope shift, and rise above the questions in my soul. Will you unfurl this hope – like the dawn, and transfigure me?