"May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."
~ John 17:23
Rain on the sunroof of my car this morning seems to create a paradox between the name and the actual experience of peering through the window. It has been raining, and the temperature has dipped below 50 degrees, making all of us who live along the Gulf grab our sweaters and coats again.
An early morning start caught me off guard, and the time that I generally spend writing and in prayer was replaced by a rainy drive into the city to be with a family who reached out to me to come and pray with them.
I had only been at the home with this family less than an hour when the call came that another family had just lost their matriarch and wanted me to come and sit with them until the funeral home arrived. I ended my visit and then made my way through the rain once again, going deeper into the city, and surrounding myself by concrete buildings with a few random, planned out, trees. I was able to find an available parking spot next to a tow zone, and covered my head with an umbrella that I had in the back seat of my car as I made my way down the street to where their condo is located.
As I entered the home, I could hear crying coming from one room, and laughter being shared in another. That is how it is with death. We are met with emotions that lead us to places where we don't always know what emotions to expect.
I immediately was hugged by the woman's daughter, as she welcomed me, and sat down to hear of the dying journey her mother just completed. Even now as I type this, hiding in the corner of a small coffee shop near their home, I can still smell her perfume on my sweater, and feel the dampness where her tears fell.
The rain outside reminds me of how her grief is now washing over her, and her family. More family arrived, and the grief begins again and again.
I think again of the rain on my sunroof, and realize that we are to count the sunny, as well as, the rainy days. Both can be milestones, just as this day has been for this family.
I've often wondered what the rainy days were like for Jesus as he walked roads that were just dusty the previous day, but perhaps, now were filled with puddles, and mud? Did he think of the moment that the Divine entered dust to create humanity, and those who he now walked with which were the result of God blowing the breath of life into the creation, on sunny and rainy days?
Even on this rainy day, the light still exists. It resides in the aroma of a mourners grief. I am reminded that water flows in the path of least resistance, and so it is with the Spirit of Christ. It is present among us always, awaiting for an opportunity to enter and to flow. Today I am reminded that Jesus is the "door." Both places where I have been this morning I have sensed Jesus' invitation, and John's words in his gospel, "Anyone who enters through me will be safe." (John 10:9) Each place has been a shelter for me, and I have known hospitality.
On sunny and rainy days, we are invited to come and to be together with one another, and that we are all one. Today I am reminded that none of us are strangers.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams is the author of the book, "Remember Me When..." and is a former hospice chaplain and pastor.