It sure has been raining a lot this summer. I’m not complaining. It’s been nice, keeping things green and not as hot as usual. It reminds me of my summer in Valdosta in 1985 when it seemed to rain around the same time every afternoon, leaving the evenings unbearably humid when the sun would come out again. I am grateful it’s not imitating the summer of 1994–the one when it started raining and didn’t stop until we had all kinds of flood damage around here.
Yesterday evening we were at Daybreak up in Macon. The meal was over and folks were heading out, trying to find cover before the impending storm hit. I kept watching out the back window of the building as the dark clouds came closer and closer. I wondered if it would hit before we left. I used to love rainy weather and all that it entailed until I started going up to Come to the Fountain and Daybreak and getting to know our friends who have no place to call home. Now it comes with worry–where will our friends go? How will they weather yet one more downpour?
As I was gathering my thoughts and the discarded plates and soupbowls, one of our friends and fellow volunteers tapped me on my arm–“Hey look, a rainbow!” He pointed out the side window. The whole time I’d been watching through the back windows, focused on the storm approaching, there through the side window a beautiful rainbow could be seen.
Well, the picture doesn’t do it justice, but it was there. I gathered my littles and took them over to the window for a closer look. As it seemed to be fading, it was harder for them to see it, but once they did, oh the joy on their sweet faces!
Today I’ve had my Mama on my heart more than usual. I miss her so much. She was good at that, you know. In the storms of life, instead of watching the storm approach or cowering in the midst of it, she was always looking for that rainbow. Some days feel a little stormier than others. I sure could use her here to help me look at things from a different point of view and see the rainbow, instead of panicking about the storm. She was someone who saw many storms, bad ones, from a very young age. Yet she worked to prevent storms from hitting us, her babies (always her babies, she’d say), head-on. When one inevitably did, she was there with open arms–to gather us close, to dry our tears, and to help us seek the rainbow–a sign of hope. And if we were headstrong and just wouldn’t look, so bogged down in our own misery, she was the first one to call us out, and say, “Get up! Look around. There’s a whole world of good out there. Don’t let this define you.”
I am thankful for the time I had with my Mama. Is it okay to say it wasn’t enough? I am so thankful that today when my Aub and I were talking about what Mama would have said about something, we were both quoting her back and forth verbatim. Because she’s in our hearts, we know what she’d say most of the time. It’s just we miss having her say it, hearing the love in her voice and seeing the light in her eyes as she did. I really appreciate that my friend, who had no idea the turbulence in my heart right now, was looking out for the rainbow and took the time to share it. I think that’s what we are called to do–show each other encouragement. And hope. And point out the rainbows even as the storm clouds gather. Sometimes, when there’s just no words to fix it, that’s the best we can do.