Warmth melts snow. Rains putter down. A puddle forms. I walk around it to get on with my day avoiding more messes, any more aches, any more bother. My daughter sobs and begs to wear rain boots. With them on, she marches into the puddle, springing from it, grinning, uplifted and announces “my day just got way better!”

Reacting to warm sunshine is a strange phenomenon. It causes brain chemicals to change. It causes emotions to change. It causes kids to need to feel it, revel in it, move around in it, and forget boundaries for a while. It is boundless and free, and we want to be like the sunshine.

In me, it causes the need to “do”. When I succumb I find that I have over-done, and now I hurt, so the cloudy rainy day fits me perfectly, and I long to rest and nap and hide. I realize again how Lyme is a long-haul, and that I will over-do it sometimes. And I should, because warm sunshine and a project accomplished is worth it. And there are nap days too.

Conversations and interactions are leading me to the conclusion that relationships are like mud puddles. And they need filled with water again or they do dry up. Engaging in them is messy. But can spark joy. If we have our rain boots on. Sunshine has its role in invigorating life. But do not underestimate the power of mud puddles.

Suffering makes mud. The clean water pours onto dirt and mixes into this mud we live in. We avoid the whole mess if we can. Unless we are looking at it with our rain boots on. Suffering lead us to surrender, to deeper trust, to stronger faith, to greater capacity to love, to greater hope, to more intimate love. With God’s grace as our rain boots.

“The Lord is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

Habakkuk 3 describes calamity, and rejoicing in the God who Saves -because of being equipped with the rain boots and the expectation that it all means salvation, joy, glory is coming out of the calamity, the mud, the mess, the pain.

Why doesn’t God take away the pain, the nightmare, right when it hits, when we ask, when we can’t take it any more? Maybe because of His patience. For when it is over, the opportunity for salvation too will be gone. The water will run clear.

Hmmm. This will take more pondering… and another puddle (and I’ve got to get some rain boots!)


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