“When the rain comes it seems that everyone has
When the night falls you wonder if you shouldn’t
To run and hide
Escape the pain
But hiding’s such a lonely thing to do”
Rain. It cleanses. It Destroys. It can either be refreshing to walk through, or else make a long walk seem longer. It’s been raining here in Chicago for a few days. Tonight the rain outside mirrors the rain in my heart and soul. While preparing for my Endorsement Interview tomorrow I got word that my cousin in Norway, Kristen passed away after a long battle with cancer. Yesterday I found out that my Uncle Dan is in the hospital battling Legionnaires’ Disease, a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria, likely from his work site. It’s a lot to process.
Music does wonderful things for my soul. Whenever, I have emotions that I can’t readily express in words I find a space to do so through music and dance. Tonight “When the Rain Comes” by Third Day provided me with some much needed release as I processed the heartbreaking news I received tonight. The first time I heard this song was at a candlelight vigil for a friend from Church. The song was later played at his funeral. It’s notes and lyrics are one of the first places I go to when I experience loss. I don’t like crying in public. I’d much rather hole up in my room and express my grief privately.”But hiding’s such a lonely thing to do.” As I said in a sermon last week, it takes a community to help someone heal.
“I can’t stop the rain
From falling down on you again
I can’t stop the rain
But I will hold you ’til it goes away”
Have you ever received a good hug? I mean like a REALLY good hug. The kind from a friend or family member who takes one look at you, sees the pain in your eyes, and wordlessly encloses you in an embrace that encircles you when you don’t have the strength to hold you up any longer? To me, that’s ministry, one of the forms of ministry I treasure most. I like thinking of the words in this song as words from God. When I’ve been in places of grief sometimes the thing I need most isn’t words, but instead for someone to hold me because in that moment I may not have the strength to hold myself anymore.
“When the rain comes
you blame it on the things that
you have done
When the storm fades
you know that rain must fall
it’ll be alright
No one loves you like I do”
My time in Clinical Pastoral Education at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center taught me that Sometimes things happen and there is absolutely no reason why. I don’t believe that God punishes us for things we do by taking the people we love away from us. I couldn’t believe in a God that would do something so cruel. I’ll admit I’ve been angry at God a lot while in my Seminary journey. I’ve had difficult experiences the past few years, lost multiple friends and family members, even since last Christmas which will make the upcoming All Saints Day this Sunday particularly difficult. Lots of prayer and reflection have reminded me that I’m not the only person who goes through that anger and pain, that it is perhaps because of these experiences that I will one day be a pastor who is actually worth something. At least I hope so. In the chaos of loss it’s often hard to take the time to stop and be, because that’s when the pain creeps in. But running ourselves into the ground isn’t healthy either. Stopping and being gives us time to process, to stop running away from the pain. I’ve done a lot of running before I figured that out. It’s when we stop, remembering that those we hold in community might to a degree understand what we’re experiencing, that leaning on one another for support is one of the greatest gifts to humanity. We just can’t close ourselves off if that communal healing is to happen. It’s then, that with time, we are able to escape the rain and walk, blinking, into the sunlight once more…because no one loves us like our God, family, and friends do and thank goodness for that. So yeah, the rain comes. Sometimes when it rains it pours. But God and our Community of support, whose relationships form the sign of the cross are there to hold us ‘”till it goes away.”
I will hold you”