What was supposed to be a normal week didn’t turn out that way. Instead of going into the office for five days and “living for the weekend”, I got permission to work remotely for a few days so I could support a family member who needed me. Or maybe I needed them. Both I guess.
I left work, grabbed my packed bags from home, and headed out for the drive that would have me arriving after sunset. I wasn’t worried about the drive. It was July. No fear of snow. And even the dark wouldn’t be coming until I was close to done.
Then an hour and a half into the drive, I saw a large cloud looming on the other side of the river. It was burnt orange rather than white or gray, and growing from the ground and not the sky. As a lightning bolt streaked overhead, I wondered if some brush had caught fire. A mile of river was between me and the cloud’s origins, but I was heading toward more lightening streaks ahead. And would be for two more hours.
It wasn’t the hardest drive I’ve ever done. That was a downpour years ago when each passing semi forced me to tighten my grip and pray I wouldn’t slide off the road. It was probably one of may fastest. Each lightning bolt in the sky had me press down on the pedal just a bit to get me closer to a city, closer to being out of this giant metal target. I considered once or twice pulling over, but figured a still metal target in a field wasn’t the best plan. Just get into a city and the towering buildings would make me feel safe.
There was sunlight all through the storm that night, and the rain never pounded down like I expected. So along with lightning flashing in the sky, there were also almost constant visions of rainbows. Colors of hope and promise standing against the fear.
Obviously I made it to the city safely, and am now back again, having driven on a sunny hot day back to my home in Portland. But part of me is still in that storm, for more metaphorical rather than physical reasons. Perhaps I, and all of us, are always in a storm. There is always the potential of danger, the potential of quitting around us. And if we look, there is also hope standing there too.
“Sometimes God calms the storm, sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.”