When I lived in Ohio I hated winter. It wasn’t the temperature. I actually liked dressing in layers, which was much more creative than the year-round shirt sleeve world of Texas. It was the clouds that I hated.
Working for a large church meant busy weekends. The period from lunch Saturday to lunch Sunday was given to the production of worship. I was usually exhausted and semi-coherent for the remainder of Sunday. Monday was my one full day off every week. I often felt an odd obligation to work – not on church stuff, but at relaxing. Unwinding was difficult. I’d meander through the day yearning for an elusive moment of relaxation. Time off was a rainbow; beautiful from afar, missing up close.
Clouds made it worse. I am sure there’s a meterological explanation for it, but sunshine was rare on winter Ohio Mondays. Instead of “partly cloudy” weather forecasters used the more optimistic term “partly sunny”. Having spent much of my life in Texas, I had actually grown tired of the sun. I thought I liked clouds and rain. Little did I know.
Rainy days would have made Ohio Mondays better. I love rain; it evokes story. Its beauty of rhythm and texture is laughter through tears, the joy of melancholy. People write songs about rain. But these were days without rain. People don’t write songs about clouds. Clouds are the Tantalus of rain. The are the definitive illustration of gray. They obscure light. My Mondays were untextured, dull gray days, where the Kelvin temperature soared and my spirit sagged. They gave me a headache.
Yet, God appeared in a cloud. Is that because God is made visible in the gray, when life is a headache? Maybe in our moments of discomfort, of uncertainty and doubt, of walking in the wilderness – that is when we see, when the God who is always near us is made visible, a shape rising in the opacity of our monochromatic situations.
Is your Monday full of clouds in your head or in your heart? What rays of sun are poking through the gray of your day?