As I sit here about to tell you a story, I see a picture in my mind of what I intend to capture through the words I choose. One of the most profound, beautiful moments I have ever experienced. It may not sound like much, but might I say it brought me to tears. I only hope that you might see it, too.
I'm driving back to campus on a rainy Sunday from one of my favorite coffee places, tired from a long week and worried that my tires might slip on the slick roads. I'm almost out of data on my phone, so I decide to turn on the radio for the rest of the trip. I'm wondering if I'll make it to work on time because my shift starts in about fifteen minutes, and I have to meet someone beforehand to lend him a book. Time is running short. It's been raining for a few days now, and it's starting to make the world feel a bit gloomy. My thoughts wander.
"So we wait
We wait for You
God, we wait
You're coming soon."
These words come onto the radio as my car climbs to the top of a hill. Suddenly, I am in the midst of miles and miles of shimmering white. The sky had opened up and the sun burst through the gray rain clouds, reflecting its light off of each and every puddle in my line of vision. It was like some sort of glorious road, soaked in sunlight that was beautifully blinding.
In that moment, everything was still. It was as if time had stopped, or at least I had forgotten about all the deadlines on my mind. All I could think about was what was right in front of me, that white-washed road and those words ringing in my mind. Before I knew it, I was in tears. Not tears of sadness, or even happiness or laughter. They were tears of awe and wonder. This was one of a handful of times in my life when something has been too beautiful for me to handle. What made this picture so captivating to me was not just the beauty, but the meaning that seemed to go along with it.
An analogy came to mind. (Are you surprised?)
What if it had not rained? I'm sure the view would have still been spectacular. But would it have reflected the light just the same? Probably not. The roads and the hills had been drenched by the storm, holding onto the water that washed them clean. What I'm getting at is the idea that there are bound to be "storms" in life. Times that feel like we have lost all control, and our plans have been swept away and dismantled. Times that we feel that we have lost all dignity or respect, or maybe we have become filled with fear and worry. But these times also have the potential to draw us closer to the "Sun," the Source of Light, the Way, The Truth, and The Life.
Roads that have been drenched by the rain are the roads that reflect the sun with glimmering light. They have seen the darkness. They have weathered the storm. They grab hold of the light when they see it, having lived without it. And in turn, they point it back to where it came from, while also reflecting it like a lamp for all to see.
When we have lived in the darkness, we see so much more clearly just how full of light the Father is. And the light that He gives us changes us and everything around us when we choose to reflect it, glorifying Him and pointing the world back to our ultimate source of love, joy, and hope.