Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Right as Rain

Steady, rhythmic rain. I sat in the darkened doorway, the wind from the screen refreshing in its promise of spring. The candle behind me flickered just enough for me to read the words in the book, scents of vanilla and jade wafting. Then I saw his car lights: bright in the darkness, clear in the streams of rain. I grabbed my slippers and tiptoed outside to help him bring in the groceries he'd purchased for me after his night class.
The rain seemed not-so-gentle as I stepped off the porch. The mild wind had strengthened, and we clumsily wielded bags while trying to avoid hidden puddles.
We stepped into the safety of our house. Candle blown out, light switched on. Groceries put away, BBC mini-series pulled out. Warm blanket, fresh bread, easy viewing.
Until the lights dramatically went out and the candle was re-lit, this time less for its scent than its light. The wind was no longer mild or strengthened; it was fierce. With each sheet of lightning, we watched the trees sway vigorously. When we found a break in the storm, he went outside to see if anything had happened.
And it had. The windshield of his car, the wipers of which had been quickly beating a metronome-like rhythm only an hour before, bore the violent scar of a heavy walnut tree branch. The top of the car folded in on itself, and the rain continued to dribble through the roof.
He came in and told me what had happened. Using a spare flashlight, we tried to get a grasp of the damage. We came in, back to the comfort of dry floors and vanilla and jade and bread, and sat stunned.
But not fretful. Not anxious, not angry.
Stunned, but safe and secure.
And the words I had been reading while waiting for him in the then-fantastical world of flickering light and gentle rain and sleeping children? (You know, candles are so soothing when you don't need them!)

"This indeed is an excellent art, to be able to draw from God what one had before in the creature. Christian, how did you enjoy comfort before? Was the creature anything to you but a conduit, a pipe, that conveyed God's goodness to you? 'The pipe is cut off,' says God, 'come to Me, the fountain, and drink immediately.' Though the beams are taken away, yet the sun remains the same in the firmament as ever it was. What is it that satisfies God Himself, but that He enjoys all fullness in Himself; so He comes to have satisfaction in Himself. Now if you enjoy God as your portion, if your soul can say with the Church in Lamentations 3:24: 'The Lord is my portion, says my soul,' why should you not be satisfied and contented like God?"


-Jeremiah Burroughs,

from Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment (1651), ch. 3


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Protected by Copyscape Duplicate Content Detection Tool