Wednesday, March 17, 2010


It was cloudy with a light breeze. We were headed to the grocery store. Mister yelled, “Mom! Look at the clouds. They are going over there to the sunny part!” Indeed the wind was moving the ominous mass of fluffy grey across from West to East, where the sun was shining bright and clear. I dipped my head close to the steering wheel, for a wider view out of the windshield. And watched. Sure enough the cumulous mounds seemed to be piled up in a jumbled race towards the blue sky. They were making real, observable progress and soon all was under their shadow.

I had never thought of clouds moving with purpose. Never considered that like the rest of us, they seek the warm and clear sky. The open spaces where all are able to breath and think with steady rays warming cold bones. Never thought of them racing and piling up like crazed soccer fans at the end of the game, tripping over each other, the slow ones being flattened in the chaos.

But racing or not, the clouds inevitably move into the wide blue, blocking our access to the life-giving sun and raising goose bumps, chilling skin. We look up. Wonder aloud at the change in circumstance. Grab a sweatshirt. Check for rain. Maybe we tough it out, maybe we head indoors.

Some clouds are gone by lunchtime. Others hang suspended for weeks. We drink more coffee. Call a friend to complain about the weather. Dream of baking ourselves on an equatorial beach where the home clouds can’t find us. But no matter what we do, the clouds come and go as they please. Like us, they move around the globe looking for the sunny places, which always seem just out of reach. They are temporal. Ethereal. Holding thunder and rain without rigid shape. They captivate. Turn into the figures of our dreams, but dissipate into mist before we are sure of what we saw.

But no so our God. Giver of gifts. Father of light. Unchanging and able to guide through days with thick cloud cover.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

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