Pilgrim Road Blog Photo

Pilgrim Road Blog Photo

Monday, July 29, 2013

When You Can't Tell If A Storm's Coming Or Going

The lightening flashes far in the distance.  A low roll of thunder grumbles in mid air.  I hear the characters in my latest TV drama obsession, in the scene on the porch, saying  it over and over again in my head:

 "The storm...is it coming or going?"

 This question from a work of fiction perfectly describes my fragile reality right now.  And I'm certain it is echoed in the the souls of millions across this wide world.  "The storm, is it coming or going?"

Sometimes you can't tell.

For three and a half years I have felt the hard rain, the hurricane force winds, the terrifying specter of rubble that looked for a while like it might never be rebuilt.  I'm still not altogether sure.  The storms, they can be devastating.  They wax and wane in their power and effect, and they blow us to higher ground or we die. 

In three short weeks, that beloved one, so battered by the storm, so changed and injured, will move 300 miles away .  She will start a new life, where she is no longer the girl in the accident or the girl impacted by 2 crimes.  I will buy her leather boots and spray them with waterproof for the Western New York weather.  I want her precious feet protected and warm and pretty too against the storms across the Great Lakes.  I'm getting her a warm winter fleece, and sending laundry detergent pods and soft sheets, and an extra blanket.  What I can't pack for her are the thousands of hopes I have, the love that is stronger than the grave, the stubborn, though battered faith I have been equipped with by grace alone.  I cannot pack for her what she can only unpack for herself:

To choose a life of beauty despite the ashes of loss.

The All Compelling One, for Him - when I start crying for no known reason - the reason is known.  It's not just about a child moving away, about the memories of soapy tubs and long braids and too many stuffed animals in the bed.  It's not the standard mom-will-miss-you-I'll-get-over-it heartache.  He knows the route the storms take through all of our particular weaknesses and personal achilles' heels.  He well knows the heavy weather of relational pain and the exposed wound.  Over and over again these twisters are addressed.

"When you pass through the rivers I will be with you.  And when you pass through the waters they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze."  Isaiah 43:2

This scripture I've been living with since last August, lives in me for real.  Because the grace of God is so true, so unfatigable, it makes it so it doesn't matter whether the storm is coming or going.  We must learn to live with the lightening in the distance, or in the yard, because this is not heaven.  It will always be thus, like the law of gravity on this fallen planet.  But there is the law of aerodynamics, the law of rising above, the law of love, the law of Immanuel, "GOD WITH US", whether the storm approaches or departs.  There is higher ground but no one would willingly go there if they were comfortable on the plain.

I say it through tears:  Thank you Father, for the storms.  The Anchor, He holds.

For all of you hearing the thunder, seeing the lightening, I stand with you.  No, I climb with you...to the place where "no power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand..." 

Or pluck her from His hand. 

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


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