My world was full of sunshine that day. Maybe not the kind of day with no clouds in the sky, but full of sunshine none the less.
But when I woke up, it was night. It was dark and stormy. The wind was howling, the rain pouring, the darkness overwhelming. I walked out in the storm, faced it head on. And I discovered something. Each rain drop was part of the storm, yes, but when I looked, when I searched, when I begged for it, each drop also felt like grace.
As the storm grew fiercer, as the rain shifted and blew, as it poured down in sheets, so did the grace. Grace rained down in the middle of the storm. It covered me until I was soaked through. The kind of soaked that happens when you walked into an unexpected storm with no raincoat or umbrella. The kind of soaked that goes right down to your bones.
The storm soaked me, but so did the grace. Right down to my bones. Right down to my soul.
It soaked me so much that I was saturated, filled, and it started pouring out of me. Grace for the offender. Grace to make it through the storm. Grace to deal with the changing landscape the storm had created.
The grace filled me until I was able to dance in the rain. I could sing in the dark of the night, laugh at the storm. I raised my face to the heavens and welcomed the rain. Not because I loved the storm, but because each rain drop seemed to bring more grace.
I still prayed for the storm to end, still wished it hadn’t come, but I loved the feeling of grace down to my core.
When the fierceness of the storm abated, my whole world looked different. It was not yet sunshiny, but it was becoming good. And I was still soaked down to my soul with grace.
But the storm kept abating.
The wind died down, the drops became fewer and farther between. I no longer had to face the gale. There were days I stood and soaked up the sun. Marvelled that we had made it through the storm.
And when the storm died down, so also did my desperate search for grace. I thought with the fierceness of the storm gone, I didn’t have to beg for a fierce grace. For that soaking down to my bones. And when I stopped searching, stopped looking for the grace in every rain drop, I stopped looking up.
I was no longer in such need, such dire straits. Or so I thought. I thought that the days of mild weather and sunshine and light rain were days that I could get through. Surely if I had been able to dance in the gale, I could dance in the sun.
And I forgot how desperately I was in need of grace.
That the every day winds and clouds brought their own need of grace. Maybe not so obvious, but just as desperate. Even in the sunshiny days, when I forgot to look up, to search, I felt dried up. The grace that had once been so abundant in the storm seemed to be gone. How could I find it if not in the storm, in the rain coming down like sheets?
I forgot to look up.
The grace comes fierce and swift in the middle of the raging storm, but it can soak me just as well in the sunshine. I can have equal songs of joy in the dark as in the light. The grace is there in the middle of the day sprinkle. In the breeze that just ruffles me. In the days of endless clouds, where technically there is no storm, but there is no sunshine either.
Grace, the soaking down to my bones kind of grace is always there. Always ready to fill me up.
But I have to be the desperate searcher. Face turned upward, ready to receive.