Monday, July 25, 2011

Softening Showers

Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion, and to you shall vows be performed.
O you who hear prayer,to you shall all flesh come.
When iniquities prevail against me, you atone for our transgressions.
Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts!
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!
By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation,
the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas; the one who by his strength established the mountains, being girded with might;
who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples, so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.
You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.

You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain, for so you have prepared it.
You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.
You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.
The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy,
The meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy. Psalm 65

The heat finally broke yesterday with some late afternoon and evening showers - nothing dramatic, just a softening, a curve toward gentleness and soft breezes once again. When one has lived through brutal days, whether it is external heat or internal traumas, there is a great joy in the overwhelming tenderness of the Creator and Creation. We sat in church yesterday at St. Peter's by the Sea, with a small crowd of faithful people, sweating despite the fans, and wondering when things would ever be cooler. And then it happened - like a sneeze - the world changed and we can wake up to new possibilities.

The Psalm 65, one of the appointed for today, reminds me that the depth and breadth of God's love are evident in the everyday as well as in the huge mountain top experiences. Sometimes we ache for miracles and dramatic changes. Often the best gifts we receive are the small ones, the softening showers the gentle touches, the smiles and laughter that change our world.

Today, I want to be softened, gentle remolded, aware of being clay in the hands of a loving potter. We all ache for the softening necessary within us, a gentle change of heart, which opens us again to the love that is ever present around us, making all things new and restoring even the most brokenhearted.

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