Monday, June 16, 2008

After the rain

Last night, at about 9:00, we were getting ready to put Israel to bed. The weather had been calm all day, but then, as has happened a couple other times recently, a storm came up. Without warning. The wind started blowing fiercely. Pat and I put Israel in his playpen and rushed around outside in what had become a crazy dust storm to bring in hanging and potted plants and to take down the basketball goal so the rim doesn't get bent further by another fall into the street. While we were running about, another limb fell out of our tree. A little girl's trike blew down the street. The lattice holding back our neighbor's raspberry bushes snapped in two. The rain started and we were safe inside. We put Israel to bed and turned on the TV to see what was going on with the weather. These days, I feel like a tornado could descend on my house at any moment. No tornado this night, though. And the storm passed in a matter of minutes.

We would not have even noticed it, except that the storm was replaced by a bright, orange glow. Pat led the way outside again. It was still raining and you could hear thunder in the distance, but the sky was the most beautiful and strange I have ever seen. On the west, the entire sky was bright orange -- not your traditional sunset. The whole thing was orange. And it was after 9:00 pm. The light penetrated everything. Neighbors came outside to see the light show. We turned and looked east to see a double rainbow that took up that entire half of the sky. I can't recall ever seeing a rainbow like that. We called neighbors and friends to spread the word that something amazing was taking place. A couple of the people we called let us know that they felt very loved by us because we would call them to make sure they didn't miss out on such a thing.

We stood and watched the sky for a long time. I took all kinds of pictures (none of which really did it any justice) and jumped in puddles and decided to let the rain make my hair look funny. We climbed upstairs and bent over to look out our little windows at it. We pushed our way onto the little overhang on our roof to try to get a clearer look. The rainbow evaporated in the time it took for me to dial one more phone number. The sky remained beautiful. Clouds became visible where the orange glow had been and were lit pink and purple by a strip of still-orange glow beneath. It was purely magical. I leaned over the railing to get a couple more shots to remember the evening by. Such pure joy after such a terrible storm. We were still talking about it as we went to sleep. Pat said he thought that sort of a sky spoke about the beauty that takes place when God's light shines into the stormy places.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been able to visit Trever and Lauren's house. If you don't know them, you may remember from our previous post that they just gave birth to their daughter who died the same day. While I have not yet spoken with them at length, I have interacted with them enough to know that some miracle is being worked on their behalf. They say that they have been given so much peace that, at times, they feel like they should be more sad. Within a week of being home, Lauren was already talking about ideas for how to console and encourage those of us looking to have more children (some sooner than others) so that we would know we need not fear this sort of a thing. Regardless of what happens, she wants us to know God grants peace beyond comprehension. They have been so concerned for everyone else in this process that it is humbling just to know them. I am sometimes afraid to go near them because they are in the middle of something so profound I feel like all I can do is trample it, but they welcome my blundering company. (Just a couple days ago, I all but barged into their house seeking refuge from a mangy old stray dog who wanted to befriend Sophie on our walk. They could not have been more gracious and understanding.) In the middle of this mess, I have been witness to peace and faith and joy and love and perseverance and community and hope that are nothing short of miraculous and that are absolutely beautiful.

The Lord is faithful, beautiful, and strange. He brings beauty from the ugliest of things. Such pure joy after such a terrible storm.


Eldon L. said...

Louise and I are awaiting your first book. You express yourself so well. It brings tears to the eye when we read how sensitive and feeling you are about the events of your life.
You go girl!

With love, Eldon and Louise

Libby said...

I've always enjoyed the way you express yourself on paper. Have you ever considered putting articles in your newspaper? You could have your own column! --Mom

The Kristiansens said...

I love it Lez! You help me to inhale life!
I really do want to get together soon. I dropped the ball about last week,but it looks like Israel was sick anyway!
love you guys