Wonderstruck book club series: Chapters 002,003
It was a question that knocked me off kilter.”Why is God doing this to me?” her eyes were imploring and pain-filled and my words felt puny and unconvincing. “God is not doing anything to you,” I insisted, “He doesn’t work like that.” But my answer felt ineffectual and echoed back hollow.
Sometimes it seems as soon as you are just starting to get relief in one area, something else happens and you’re right back where you started.
The truth is, when you are in pain, it does feel like God’s punishing you. Even if you know deep down He’s really not.
Just about everyone in my circle is rolling in the tide of suffering from one thing or another right now and I feel helpless.
And yesterday, the weather mirrored how I felt, it was stormy and windy all day. The sky was thick with dust and outside was no place you wanted to be. I felt fatigued, restless and burdened. Flagpoles bending, windchimes clanging, rugs blown across driveways, everything askew.
There was a sliver of grace in the day. In one of our favorite spots E and I settled for some breakfast and tea. I told her I felt useless for not being able to answer her question the night before. “Oh,” she said, waving her hand across her face. “I didn’t expect you to really have an answer, I just needed to vent.” So we talked and laughed and sighed and watched people and drank 3 glasses of tea. But I know her, I can see the pain below the surface.
On and on, the wind howled. Dirt and dust collected and banked in the corners of the house like brown snow, and leaves and debris were everywhere, but there were clouds coming in. Back inside, I walked from window to window. I tried to read but nothing held my interest.
I dozed off thinking about wonder, and how to find it in a day like today. Sandwiched in between so much other stuff.
As afternoon turned into dusk, I heard the unmistakable ping of rain on the roof. I turned off all the lights and sat in my chair by the open window. I heard more drops. I went outside and stood in it…..It was grace, this rain. His grace, I knew it. It really started to come down and I felt myself smiling.
I went back to the chair as the healing drops fell, more and more they came like mercy from the sky. Sydney jumped up on my lap and together in the dark, we watched and listened and felt the wonder spilling down from the sky, and my tears fell along with it.
And I thought, that is just like God, showering wonder in the middle of the dirt and dust and chaos of life
And that is how it happens, in the midst of an ordinary day. When we live in realm and possibility of wonder, we recognize it when it shows up even in the midst of heartache. Maybe especially in the midst of heartache.
We sat and sat. I prayed, “More, God, More, God, I want more.” He answered me with a distant rumble of thunder.
Does it surprise you that He would answer that way? We are talking about a God who loves us so much that there is nothing He wouldn’t do for us, so I don’t think a little rumble of thunder is too big of a stretch.
I said, “thank you thank you thank you.”
And here is another wonder, I had just been thinking of a certain Bible verse:
“And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire, a still small voice.” 1 Kings 19:11-12
I was thinking of my own version, except adding dust to the mix and then ending with rain. I walked out to the kitchen and looked at the verse on the calendar, which I hadn’t turned over yet…..you guessed it, it was the verse from 1 Kings.
I looked at my phone and there was a text from my dear friend in Seattle and it said: “Hey, the sky finally came out and it made me think of you, love you, goodnight xoxox.”
I sent one back that said, ‘That is so funny, Sydney and I were just sitting in the dark listening to the healing rain and I thought of you, I love you.”
He send us His wonder in the midst of an ordinary day, sometimes He disguises Himself in people.
Sometimes He shows up Himself.
Sometimes He sends rain.
But He still comes, and there is wonder in that.