It rained this week. I was looking for something in my closet and wondered, what is that noise? It’s been that long. I stepped outside and was instantly struck by rain’s sweet aroma, a cleansing, a quenching of something parched deep within, a smell of hope and renewal.
The rain came as we marked another September 11th—a day seared in the memory of most of us. For a new generation it will be like Pearl Harbor Day seared in the memory of my mom and dad, something I appreciate and honor, but only second hand, not the visceral, cellular memory. For some things, you just have to be there.
Oddly, the soul quenching smell of rain lives side by side with September 11th, life’s terrible and beautiful tapestry: the life-death-life cycle, regeneration, healing, and hope rising, always rising as life’s mystery unfolds, the arc of the mystery always bending toward hope, toward renewal. That’s our faith. That’s our Good News. And yet, you have to be there, be there and participate in the fullness of life to experience that arc, that Good News, be present with others because the fullness of life only happens in relationship, only happens when we are there for each other to bear witness of hope and renewal when those are the last things that seem present or possible.
I hope you will be there this Sunday as we resume our inquiry into what constitutes a flourishing life. The inquiry resists simplistic answers. Rain brings death in the Bahamas, life in Central Texas, life on a day we remember so many deaths. The tapestry of life. What does a flourishing life look like in the midst of that? I suspect it has something to do with being there for each other, reminding each other that when summer’s heat or life’s challenges seem loathe to loosen their grip, the right amount of rain, a vivifying rain, will come and oh, how sweet it will be.