It’s a grey day. The dampness feels like it has found its way through the layers of skin and tissue, penetrating to the core of my being. There is no sun visible in the sky. I know the truth. It is covered by the clouds. It doesn’t matter, I can’t see it. I can’t feel its warmth. It might as well be night time. At least at night I can dream of a better day, a sunny warm beautiful day. Sadly there are many more hours of looking at grey tree trunks and their lifeless limbs, brown dormant grasses and their limp blades, dead reeds and their bent stocks to remind me that this is a grey, depressing, damp day.
It’s not all drab colours.
There is some green dotted throughout the grey and brown landscape of dormancy and death. A few trees that do not shed their needles remain but even they look drab on this damp grey day. It’s almost as if they are laughing at me, as if they are saying “remember a time when there was so much life, so much colour? We are all there is left of a season of beauty. We are a reminder of what things once were and how grey and dead things now are.”
It isn’t over yet.
I know this season won’t last forever. I know the sun will shine again. Still, knowing what is coming doesn’t help much. How many days must I wait for the grey to go away? How long will this season last? Can anyone tell when this dormancy and death will end? No they can’t. I must hope for what history has proven true, this season will end. My hope grows weak as I look at this grey day and experience the bone numbing dampness. Yes I know the truth, I know the undeniable facts, this season will give way to a new one, but in the middle of it hope slowly turns to hopelessness.
I am a son, husband, father, grandfather and pastor.
I want to make the grey go away, the bone chilling dampness disappear and the dormancy and death lose its grip. I want to make the sun shine but I can’t. I want to make the seasons change but I can’t. Life is just like that. Yes I know the truth, I know the undeniable facts, this season will give way to a new one, but in the middle of it hope slowly turns to hopelessness and there is nothing I can do about it.
It’s not all drab colours.
There are some signs of life dotted throughout the landscape. This brings back some hope, some sense that there will be a change of season. Still, as time goes on, as no permanent change takes shape, it’s as if these signs of life are laughing at me. It’s as if they are saying “remember a time when there was so much life? We are all there is left of a season of beauty. We are a reminder of what things once were and how grey and dead things now are.”
I can’t make the sun shine but I want to.
I want that sun to shine. I want to attempt to bring life back in a season of dormancy and death. I want to do it for myself. I want to do it for my loved ones and friends. I want to do it for those I pastor. No matter how much I want to try, all I will end up doing is creating a contrast between the dots of colour I bring into the picture and the grey dampness of reality. I become a reminder of what things once were and how grey and dead things now are.
It’s time to put on warm clothing and sit by the fire.
I can’t make the sun shine for me or for anyone else but I can make the season feel a little less damp and cold. I can accept that the length of the season or its intensity is not in my control and yet warmth can still be found. I can’t make it better but I can make it more bearable. I can be there, I can let someone else be there for me. I can be like warm clothing or a warm fire and I can let others be the same for me. It will still be a grey, damp, dormant and dead season but it can also be a season experienced in the company of people who care.
The season hasn’t changed.
It’s a grey day but the dampness no longer feels like it has found its way through the layers of skin and tissue, penetrating to the core of my being. There is no sun visible in the sky. I can’t feel its warmth but I have the warmth of those around me and I can be warmth to others.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15 (NIV)