i have always thought the phrase "when it rains, it pours" is true, because when we are looking for something, we begin to notice it everywhere. this is why people hoping to take the plunge into engagement start noticing wedding bands on every left hand. this is why someone suffering from a disease starts to meet others fighting the same battle. this is why it typically feels like everything is going swimmingly, or everything is falling apart--it's usually a mixture of both, but our attention is drawn to one perspective or the other.
this autumn, when seattle dried out for more than two months, with only one morning of rain to break up the sunshine, i prayed often, about many things, and i imagined rain would signify a breakthrough in my life: growth and life where things had once been dry. and now it is raining, and it does represent grace and growth for me, but it also represents winter, and there are some things i am grieving. i make lists often, and i find myself making lists like this: here is everything that has fallen apart; here is everything i would fix if i knew how. it is overwhelming to have it all listed out like that.
this is why it is especially important to practice looking for signs of God's faithfulness, God's hope, God's redemption. shauna niequist writes about this, so i want to give her due credit for the inspiration, but i needed to say it in my own words. if we make a practice of looking for it, even when it is winter (in the season, in the soul), we will begin to see the signs of hope and life everywhere. we will have eyes to see because we are looking for it, and it simply cannot blend into the background or go unnoticed. we notice because we make a practice of looking. when it rains, it pours.
"He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross."