An almost invisible mist of summer rain moistens my feet in this dry, protected spot under the retractable awning. Well, mostly dry and protected.
Streams of raindrops splatter around me. Giant tears from heaven, orchestrating a beautiful array of notes determined by their random landing spots. The ones falling on the glass-top patio table burst into large, replicating ringlets skating across the waterlogged surface, only to end in tiny bubbles disappearing as others hit to replace them. Tiny pitter-patters on the awning overhead quicken the pace of the music. Is my God shedding tears of joy or sadness? Is this performance a comedy or tragedy?
Deep, growling thunder echoes in the distance, moving closer with each grumble, adding an incredible base to the rhythm and bringing with it the impression that these may not only be tears of sadness but perhaps anger as well. Or could it be the Angelic Bowling Team striking lane after lane, my mom's comforting childhood explanation for the fearsome, nighttime awakening sounds?
"It's just God and the angels bowling..." the tale would begin. And it would always end the same, mom pinning the drapes shut to hide the bright flashes that could never really be justified as part of the bowling scenario.
Clap! BANG! CLAAAAAAP!
The symbols and drums join the chorus as jolting lightening and thunder move directly overhead.
"They must be winning the bowling tournament!" Mom would proclaim with a smile.
How embarrassing to admit that I actually believed her...sort of. Even more embarrassing, I try to get away with repeating the same stories to my own kids. Or would it be more embarrassing not to? I could just leave them crying in the darkness with no explanation at all.
"Mommy's too embarrassed to tell you some stupid story so that you won't be afraid and can go back to sleep, so you'll just have to paste your eyes shut and plunge your fingers deep into your ears!" How awfully embarrassing that would be to explain to my Heavenly Father on Judgment Day!
God does not leave us crying in our darkness to fend for ourselves! He is always there to comfort us, dream us a tale or two, and pin shut the drapes against flashes of fear. Heck...He'll even justify those bright flashes! And if we trust in Him and ask for His guidance, He will show us the way through the most violent storms of life. We don't have to be embarrassed to admit our fears or failures and ask for His help. We should be embarrassed not to!
I hear crying, then little, wet footsteps coming across the cool, darkened deck.
Four years of uncertainty in her eyes, "I'm scared Mommy."
I reach down and pull her up into the warmth of my lap. "Don't worry sweetheart, it's just God and the angels bowling..." and my tale begins. Shortly after, I smile as I finish pinning the drapes shut in her room.
I return to the deck. The rain has stopped, the storm passing. I walk out to the deck's edge, past the awning's protection into only the protection of my Heavenly Father.
"Thank you, God, for your protection and your constant love, especially during life's storms. I am grateful that I never have to feel embarrassed to come before you with my failures and weaknesses, knowing that you will understand and forgive. I pray my actions never embarrass you, my Father. Oh, how I hope that these raindrops were tears of joy."
A gust of wind scoops the center of the cloth awning where a large puddle of water has formed. I hear the fabric flapping and turn around just in time to catch the heavenly wave that delivers a confirmation--this performance was definitely a comedy!
I am drenched from head to toe, hair plastering my face, mouth gapped open in shock.
A light flicks on next door. I turn my head and squeegee hair and water from one eye with a wet finger. A blurred figure of my neighbor standing on his back deck looking at me is all I can make out. He raises a hand to his mouth.
Blink...blink...blink. I see more clearly now--a smile hides beneath his hand. He waves.
I close my gapping mouth and shrug.
Oh God, now I am truly embarrassed!
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