My Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I love “bad” weather. I love the way a heavy snowstorm makes the world fall silent and still. I love the way a hard downpour cleans the air and freshens the earth. I love how thunder and lightning shake our foundations and remind us that there are, most certainly, powers outside of our control.
In fact, I once heard the saying, “There is no bad weather, just bad gear.” And, I agree with it wholly. Being outside in any kind of weather requires nothing more than some smart preparation. A heavy snowstorm becomes a peaceful snowshoeing excursion with some good layering and an investment in a good GoreTex jacket. A rainstorm can be a rhythmic feast for the senses if you have an umbrella or a great raincoat.
There is a reoccuring theme in the midst of these preparations though… and that is having the right kind of shelter. If you don’t have the money or the knowledge of how to shelter yourself, weather can quickly become “bad.” In fact, as it has been proven many times by Search and Rescue call-outs, it can go from “bad” to “dangerous” to “life-threatening” without much time or effort.
It reinforces the fact that we, as humans, are vulnerable. We can’t just take on the world by ourselves with our wits and our own skin. This is hard to stomach for those of us who have been raised to take care of ourselves and handle whatever life (or the weather) tosses our way. We have to have help.
And, while it is easy to throw on a coat or duck back inside to shield ourselves from physical storms, it is much harder to remember to seek out help and shelter during the spiritual and emotional storms of our lives.
Again, it can be far to easy to think we have all it takes to conquer those things that assail us. But, as we have all experienced and seen in family and friends, a tragedy or personal crisis can go from “bad” to “dangerous” to “soul-threatening” without much time or effort.
In our Gospel reading this week (Luke 13.31-35), Jesus laments how he would like to gather all of Jerusalem under his protection, like a hen gathers her chicks… but Jerusalem is not willing. How often do we suffer the same fate? How often do we need God and the Christian community around us, but are too proud or too wounded to allow those wings to enfold us and shelter us?
Food for thought on this wet and snowy week! Stay warm, stay dry, and be blessed.