Category: Archived

Into every life,

a little rain must fall. That’s the old adage.  Clichés don’t seem to have the same weight they used to, but I’m inclined to believe they exist to remind us to not be so cynical. Right now, I’m sitting here in my bedroom, listening to the two distinct sounds of a generator running and the rain falling.

Unlike most people, I love the rain. Always have. There is something about growing up around a sailboat that reminds one that rain is not only expected, it’s healthy. To clean the gunk that’s built up over the last few days and weeks on the deck… to give someone a break from the typical burning sun… to remind someone who the cycle is there for renewal and refreshment. And one can grow accustomed and look forward to it once you understand it.

Recently, I have worked as an electrician. The loud clanging sound of a generator is something I’ve been exposed to in the building of a house. Many times, we have to set up and work on buildings before there is electricity run to the community in which we are building. So, one brings a generator to do the “heavy” work sometimes required in building a house. I have always thought that it was ironic that the electricians sometimes have to carry their own “power” on a job. To actually not work with the power, but to get something ready to receive power is kind of a neat concept, but weird in actual experience. Generators don’t make sense to an electrician’s concept of his job. At least they shouldn’t =b

Over the years, I have gotten deaf to one’s presence when I’m on a job site, and actually it’s usually settling to me because no one can yell at me while it’s running. =b Yet, today, this one is running for the family that lives next to me. They’ve had their electricity turned off for the better part of a month, and they’re running it to make their icebox cold enough to put milk and whatnot in it for the next two days. And it’s pouring outside. The generator is so hot that steam is rising from the rain collecting on top of it.

I wonder how long it will be before it comes to pass that I might be in their situation. I feel for them, the husband has been out of work a year longer than I have (a little over 3 months). I find myself being incredibly vulnerable when the picture of what could happen to me is sitting staring me in the face.

So, today, I am not comforted by the rains, and the generator is rattling me silly. I know that what my neighbours are going through will cause them to know they can go through anything when they get to the other side of this. But, sometimes when it rains, you can only feel wet. It’s only afterwards that you feel the growth that comes from it.

A random thought, not very well constructed. But into every life… a generator must run sometime.


Tripped again

A few years ago, I had the unfortunate opportunity to bury a friend of mine from college.  I remember meeting at retreat weekend oh 16 or so years ago and having a certain closeness to him.  We were prayer partners during the weekend, and I kept a loose connection over the years.  Almost 11 years ago, he finally proposed to the woman that he so loved for longer than I could have kept it quiet.  She being the perfect match for him said yes with the tone of “it’s about time” in her voice.  I smile every time I think of them explaining to me how it all happened.

But, in 2002, he was killed in a car accident and the wonderful woman and the children he left behind were aching.  I found out, and drove across the state immediately to see how they were doing.  Devastated understandably.  The celebration of his life was a blur to me.  I remember hugging the children, and his wife.  But the thing I remember most was the giant eye of God that followed me there and followed me back around Lake Okeechobee.  I drove over there when I found out around 11:30 pm… and it took around 3 hours to get to their house.  The entire way, this gigantic moon was rising in front of me.  It was calming and actually reassuring.

Over my lifetime, I can remember maybe 5 or 6 times a moon like that has been around.  A moon that looked so close, it seemed that if I walked over the ridge in front of me… I could touch it.  A very surreal experience to be sure.  In the past, I always attributed it to God keeping His eye on my soul to make sure it wouldn’t move or wiggle out of His way.  You can think what you will, but if I could explain it with more poetry I would.  There aren’t the words inside anymore.

I spent a day or two with the family, and had to come home for work.  And when it couldn’t possibly be full, the moon was as big as the sky and full as could be… all the way home.  I knew in a few days it would mean that I would have to come back for Josh’s funeral.  But I felt that I could do it, despite the grief.  Despite the wear and tear on my tired body.

And the same thing happened when I went back.  To this day, I don’t understand what God was trying to show me, except that I had lots of questions with very few answers.  Except that it was beautiful to behold, and I feel that Josh was telling God to remind me that there isn’t a place in my heart that hurts or that joys without God seeing it and understanding it.

This past weekend I drove that same drive.  A little road trip to West Palm Beach to see a friend’s child be christened.  I stopped in to see Josh’s family… their children are so big!  And the world is a great place again for them.  The joy in their eyes when I came by helped me smile to think that Josh left his family with the understanding of how to live in the face of adversity…  and God showed them how to live with they were loved, and loved greatly.  Or, perhaps it was the other way around… who knows.  But, the christening was a joyous occasion.  In the same church that we said goodbye to my friend.  6 years later and the circle keeps spinning.



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