Dancing in the Rain

 

Related imageHowever many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all. – Ecclesiastes 11:8 (NIV)

If they’d seen me, my neighbors doubtless would have thought I’d lost it.

“Look at that crazy woman dancing in the rain,” the newer neighbors might have said. “She’s doing what?” the ones who had known me for 30 years may have questioned. My husband said both—within hearing.

But the Saturday afternoon sun was sweltering, and sweat oozed from every pore of my body as I transplanted, with the help of my then 8-year-old granddaughter, my cascading calibrachoa into a larger flower pot. I thought the job would be fairly simple—lining the bottom of the new pot with stones, dumping in some potting soil, then lifting the plant from the old pot into the bigger one. But the wider pot left a gap between the lip and the roots.

For a woman who wipes the counter after every little spill and pinches every penny, this was the dirty, time-consuming part of the job—scooping potting soil from the bag and shaking it into the gap, careful not to get any on the stone wall or in the grass. Dirt, as you all know, sticks to sweaty skin. By the time I was done, I felt pretty cruddy. Thank God for garden hoses and outside spigots—and summer rain showers.

Just as we finished rinsing out the old flowerpot and hosing off the stone wall, I glanced down the hollow. A sheet of gray headed our way. Hurrying to retrieve the bed sheets from the clothesline, I motioned to my husband, who was astride the lawn tractor, mowing three weeks’ worth of growth.

As we stood on the back porch, I had the strangest urge to dance in the rain. There was no thunder, no lightning—only a warm, refreshing summer shower. I stepped off the porch. As my husband and granddaughter watched in disbelief, I opened my arms wide and lifted my face to the sky.

I beckoned to my granddaughter. “Come on.”

She raised her eyebrows.

“It’s just water,” I told her. “It won’t hurt you.”

As she gingerly stepped off the porch, I handed my eyeglasses to my husband.

“Come on,” I urged him. “Don’t be such an old fuddy-dud. Have some fun.”

He just grinned. Madison joined me in a few barefoot twirls. All too soon the shower ended. I was soaked to the skin—and happier than I’d been in a long time.

I used to be impulsive, frequently succumbing to a restless spirit. But time and life had tamed my youthful wildness—and squeezed a certain joy out of my soul, boxing me in with a messy kitchen, piles of laundry, floors that needed swept, and bathrooms that were growing mold.

Every now and then you gotta ignore that boring do-list and do something crazy and spontaneous, even if you’re pushing 60 —or maybe because you’re pushing 60.

This is the day that the LORD has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24).

Dear God, help me to squeeze the joy out of every day—even if it means being a little “crazy.” Amen.

Read and reflect on Psalm 100

Silent Saturday

 

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. –Psalm 30:5 (KJV)

Today is what I call “Silent Saturday”—the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

As a child I faithfully attended Holy Thursday and Good Friday services. One of the things I remember about this time right before Easter is that no music was played in church. The organ was silent, as were the bells and other instruments. Songs were sung a cappella.

This period of silence impressed upon me the solemnness of the time when God’s Son was betrayed, condemned, crucified, and buried, paying the price for the sins of all mankind from the dawn of creation to the end of time.

I knew, of course, what would follow—Easter! The day Jesus burst out of that Mid-Eastern tomb in all His glory—alive forever! The return of music! The return of hope and joy.

Little, if anything, is said in the Gospels about “Silent Saturday.” For the Jews of that time, it was the Sabbath, a day of rest. A day no work was to be done.

We read nothing of what Jesus’ followers did that day.

We can only imagine what they felt: Grief. Hopelessness. Despair. Terror. If the Jewish authorities could do this to Jesus, who performed all those miracles and claimed to be God’s Son, what would they do to His disciples? So they hid, their dreams for the Kingdom and their places in it shattered, their future uncertain. The plan, they thought, went horribly, horribly wrong.

Or did it?

They had no idea that actually everything was going wonderfully, impossibly, exactly according to plan—God’s plan. They didn’t know they were in the waiting room—not the hiding place—between deep despair and unbridled joy. Between apparent defeat and glorious triumph. Between terror and a holy boldness that would set the world on fire and launch the Jesus Movement.

But, oh! That first Easter morning—who could even begin to describe the wonder they experienced at the empty tomb, the joy at seeing Jesus alive? It was exceedingly, abundantly, above all they could have imagined.

But they didn’t know all that on Silent Saturday.

What about you?

Are you in a “Silent Saturday” time of your life? Are you dealing with grief, loss, bitter disappointment, discouragement, night-long weeping? Are you scraping at the bottom of the empty barrel of hope? Fighting despair and feel like you’re losing the battle? Thinking that your dreams, your future, are sealed up in a tomb of decay?

Hang on, dear one loved by God. Saturday will pass. The night of weeping will end. The Son will burst over the horizon, His rays chasing away despair and flooding your soul with hope and joy.

It’s Silent Saturday, but get ready, Pilgrim. Sunday’s coming.

Thank You, God, for Easter, when hope springs eternal. Amen.

Read and reflect on John 16:16–33.

From God, Me & a Cup of Tea for the Seasons, © 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.