Signs In The Storm

The last couple of days have brought some amazing late afternoon storms. For most of the day it’s been clear and sunny, but around 5:00pm the clouds start showing up. Then there’s a wall of darkness that rolls in with 30-40mph winds and a lot of lightning and thunder.

I was sitting on my back porch when the rain started coming. While most people would run for shelter, I found it very refreshing to be outside in the whole thing. Of course, some would question my sense (my common sense) for being outside with all of that lightning charging up the dusky sky. But it was worth it.

Near the end of the storm I snapped this shot. The sun was setting just below the dark cloud horizon and all of a sudden…the rainbow appeared. Very cool.

Most people don’t like storms. When the first sign of bad weather hits, they head for shelter. They don’t want to get their hair messed up by the wind, they don’t want to get wet, and they definitely don’t want to come into close contact with the lightning. I can see the practicality of it all. Their premise is that storms are something to be avoided.

But if you spend your life avoiding the storms…you’ll miss the rainbows.

I actually like the storms. I think there’s something beautiful and powerfully magnificent in all of that chaos that a storm creates. It’s cool to just walk around in it every once in awhile. And every once in awhile you get to see the rainbows.

The thing about rainbows is that one can hardly ever predict when they’ll show up. You never hear someone reporting that a strong storm front will be moving through the area followed by a ground-to-ground rainbow. They just show up and everyone turns to someone else and says, “Oh look…a rainbow.” And then we all take pictures.

If you know anything about rainbows, then you know that you can only see them when your back is turned to the sun. If you’re looking in the direction of the light (the sun) then you’ll never see a rainbow. You have to turn around and face the growing darkness…it’s there that the rainbow appears.

I guess the storm is a good metaphor for one’s approach to life. Life is full of storms. When you see the storm coming – you’re tempted to run for cover. It’s probably safer and you won’t have to face the mess. You can run from it, hide from it, do everything you can to avoid it. But then…you’ll miss out on the rainbows.

Sometimes, in the most difficult of circumstances we get a taste of grace. Sometimes, we realize that we can discover something worthwhile by weathering the storm. Sometimes, when we face the storm and walk in it we learn something about ourselves.

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