Perhaps I lived in the desert too long. I cannot stop watching the rain.
It’s a miracle to me, these bursting clouds, this shower of blessings.
Today, I slid my chair to the door and just sat there to watch. As if I had never seen rain before. As if I didn’t know what it was.
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It moved me. This simple and yet exquisite act of nature, and as I sat, staring at the downpour I realized that all of life could be this way. All of it could be seen as a miracle because surely, it all is.
A bright sun that doesn’t set the world afire, a butterfly resting on a yellow petal. A grasshopper sailing higher than the tall blades of grass where it had been hiding. A simple act of kindness. All of it should take our breath away or at the very least cause us to slide a chair to an open door and watch.
Gordon Atkinson wrote about catching sight of a miracle in his book, “RealLivePreacher.com.” It happened the day he stopped at a crosswalk as a girl was walking on her way to school. “Little girl in blue shoes,” he called her, and he writes how no one can know what choices she will make, whether she will choose good or harm; but for that one day that she stopped traffic as she made her way to school he writes about her, “This day, you were the little girl in blue shoes that carried unthinkable goodness across the street.”
There is so much beauty in the world. Even as evil celebrates its tiny triumphs, even as greed and mean spiritedness appear to be taking over, there are still miracles. There is still beauty and love and unthinkable goodness.
This week I stood with a church providing sanctuary to a mother and her three sons. A gangly group of us standing together in an altar space, wrapping ourselves around such a simple request, wrapping ourselves around the human component of our leaders’ whims and worries.
It was like the rain for me and I could not take my eyes off of what I saw, the kindness, the unflinching love of a mother, the courage of a faith community. For that brief moment, humanity shone and I got to see it. I got to stand in it and let it wash over me. And I was wet with tears and bathed in unthinkable goodness.
The ugly parts of ourselves rise up from time to time and we work to stamp them out, tamp them down, put them away.
Sometimes anger and violence and selfishness take over a heart, a leader, a nation.
But sometimes, we are brave and selfless and take a stand. And like drivers sitting in their locked cars made to stop and poets who see a flash of color and people of faith who risk everything for justice, we are changed; and that, just that, all by itself is the greatest miracle of all.
Lynne Hinton is a co-pastor of Mt. Hope United Church of Christ in Whitsett (Guilford County) and author. Her newest book is called Traveling Light. Learn more: www.lynnehinton.com