Yesterday it rained.
When I say it rained, I really meant stormed.
And when I say it stormed, trees and power lines were down, trash cans and toys blew about the neighborhood. Cats and dogs were falling. Around here it is a welcomed sight to see.
My husband texted me pictures of his interrupted rounds. My daughter opened blinds and windows so we could hear and see the downpour.
The house was a buzz with carnal relief for the gift of rain.
Except for me.
I am allergic to rain.
Don’t get me wrong, the wonder of water falling from the sky is amazing. The light show in the heavens and the claps of thunder that follow? Majestic. And when it passed everything is revived. A fresh, eye blazing green erupts from every tree and rose bush.
And… my nose slams shut.
My eyes itch and burn. And then it starts, my chest constricts, and I begin to cough up a lung. And I cough and cough and cough. I break down and use my inhaler which in turn makes me shaky and super Jami-Esq. Jittery and stressed is my presence on Albuterol. Granted, in general, I am jittery and stressed but drug-induced is worse. Furthermore, it may stop asthma… but then I lie awake all night listening to my heart slam against my ribs.
Oh, also when the rain comes my hair magically grows into a full on blonde Afro.
So the scene in Pride and Prejudice when Mr. Darcy chases Elizabeth Bennet out into the rain to profess his enchantment? Let’s say it doesn’t ooze romance to me. It makes my nose itch, my hair POOF, and flares my asthma.
Yesterday before the rain, I overheard an argument, and it started me down this rabbit hole. The disagreement was between a man claiming that there was no God and an obvious Jesus seeker.
The non-believer made a few valid points, the Jesus seeker was losing his twinkies and taking the ship down with him.
In general, he was acting like he’d just snorted Albuterol.
Arms flailing, tongue wagging, and scripture barking, the Jesus seeker was wound up. The non-believer had a gentle smirk across his face, and his arms calmly folded across his chest. And this isn’t an attack on the Jesus seeker. It is meant to engage, not enrage.
How does the saying go? You can catch more flies with honey?
And I love Jesus, and I can get worked up talking about Him, can I get an Amen?? But just like the rain is my undoing, each individual’s journey to the eternal looks different. And each needs to work out their faith, or belief, or unbelief with fear and trembling. Everyone cannot be at the same exact place in their spiritual journey.
And of course, I believe in sharing my faith. But I try and remember how chill Jesus was. He didn’t rant or get hysterical. He peaceably taught truth and offered a glimpse of that peace in His mere presence. The rest of the faith journey had to be walked out by the individual with fear and trembling.
Sisters in Jesus, a grand testimony to the message of the Cross is the peace it offers. If we get on FOX News and RANT and rave about the end of times how are we conveying a peaceful trust in the God of all?
Yes, I wish that Ronald McDonald was one of the candidates in the November Election too. And even though he might make a better president than our current two options, God totally has us in His hand. No one will come into power and surprise God. We can convey the truth of the Gospel by simply exuding a drenched calmness and a trust stance in Jesus.
The truth is a fight nearly never instigates a heart change like the example that peace can bring. And just like the rain is a blessing to one person and a curse on my head and lungs, each of us must take a path to understanding and loving God.
Ironically, I speak all this from a place after the rage. Today I lost it. LOST. IT. Pretty sure I didn’t instigate a heart change. Very sure I can’t remember ever being so angry or insulted. And I went bonkers.
I believe in forgiveness and healing. I am cried out now, very tired. And in the aftermath of my lunacy (which was totally provoked mind you,) all I did was talk to Jesus. I vented my frustrations, begged mercy, chocked on my anger… and begged His forgiveness.
Here is the thing about real Jesus…
We cannot force Him down someone’s throat and expect them to have the exact same experience we are having. Moreover, the Good News is a peaceable message that is best-conveyed through lovingly speaking truth.
You can yell at me for hours about the benefits and beauty of a spring storm, but you can’t convince me that I don’t feel like I might die when the shower hits.
No, I must experience healing for myself. Let us not forget that prayer is our first plan of attack and not a last ditch effort. I hope to be prayerful, joyful, and spirit filled. But I do lose my mind on occasion and scream words that are far from Gospel message gems.
I am sad about this. It bothers me. But it further encourages me to be honest about it. I am not a Christian because I am good, I am a Christian because I love Jesus. And the things that knock me on my butt, drag me down and make me less are probably not identical to yours. Therefore, God most likely deals with you differently than me. And He must be epic because I alone am a full time job.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, a storm is brewing. I must tie down my hair and make a Claritin cocktail.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 (NASB) “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit;”