Sunday, February 05, 2006
So let the SON Shine In
This morning I awoke from a dream in which I saw myself in a scene from childhood. I was playing my new ukelele (yes, really) and singing at Vacation Bible School.
So let the sun shine in,
Face it with a grin
Smilers never lose,
And frowners never win,
So let the sun shine in,
Face it with a grin,
Open up your heart,
And let the sun shine in.
Or was that Son Shine? I was never quite sure as a child, and I'm still not sure.
I have had a difficult few weeks. I don't want to post about how I'm not posting, so haven't been here much either.
Last Sunday was another in a long string of cloudy, drizzly days. When we get a bit of sun, it only lasts for a day or so and then the clouds are back. Basically it has been a record-breaking stretch of unseasonably warm but also dreary days. Warm for Wisconsin. Which is to say that there are patches of snow here and there, but for the most part the snow has melted and the grass is even a tinge green.
Last week one of the church woman mentioned (in some consternation) that she had tulip and iris shoots coming up alongside her house. She knows very well that this weather will not last, and no one here wants to see the long-awaited flowers get frozen before they have a chance to bloom! Crocuses and tulips are the first, and daffodills. We get starved for color, so the first shoots of green are generally cause for joy, not concern. Last week two brilliant cardinals sat high in tree branches at opposite ends of my front yard and whistled their territorial call, usually not heard until April at least. Poor things--they had a surprise coming.
The weather seems to have been somewhat of a metaphor for spiritual things too. It has been a depressing and sad few weeks. I've had many disappointments and unanswered questions. Last Sunday the church felt "wrong" somehow. I'll leave it at that. Even prayer before service was "off"--confused, cold, stiff. I spent a great deal of time last week pacing round and praying in our church sanctuary.
Last night the temperature dropped to something more "normal" which means that when I headed out for church the thermometer was hovering around 19 or 20 degrees Farenheit. But OH...the SUN! Glorious bright sunshine blazed in a blue sky. Ahhh.
This morning as a few of us gathered again, as we always do, in a small side room for a few minutes of prayer before church, the sun streamed in on our bowed heads. There was connection and warmth between us. We prayed that as the light of the sun had lifted our spirits and gladdened our hearts, the light of the SON (I know it's a bad pun...but whatever!) would blaze among us, transform us, cheer us and energize us. And then we proceeded into church for what was a wonderful time of joy and praise, a new awareness of Jesus Christ and what he did for us, and a new awareness of one another.
I have no doubt that part of the spiritual darkness I've been feeling was the weather. But it was something else too, someting harder to define but nonetheless real.
Life giving God, how I praise you for your faithfulness. Thank you for the beautiful sunshine streaming in my office window, for the crisp new snow, for the little finches at the bird feeder, for the pair of squirrels that make me laugh with their antics. Thank you for my husband and bless him over at the prison chapel as he preaches, and my mother, snoring softly as she naps in the next room. Bless my chidren so close and yet so far in Minnesota. Thank you for friends, those who know me in real life and those who only know me online. Thank you for the deacons who met with me today. Bless them for their good hearts. Thank you for those who you have brought to stand beside me and hold me accountable, and speak the truth in love, and pray with and for me. Thank you for my church and all it people. Thank you for those who hurt me as well as those who bless me. Help me to never return evil for evil, or to grow bitter. Forgive those who need forgivness, convict those who need to change, strengthen the weary ones, lift up the faltering ones. Help me to do as the Apostle Paul admonishes--and not grow weary as I seek to do what is right. And let your Son, Jesus Christ, shine in us. Shine, Jesus, shine! Amen