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Unexpected Beauty  

Rainy days are nobody’s favorite.

Who plans a wedding and hopes for a rainy day?  No parade has ever been improved by a downpour.  Same for picnics.  Few love songs connect rainy days with nostalgia or romance.  No one but a farmer enduring a parched summer welcomes a “100% chance of rain” in the forecast.

Who could possibly find glory in a puddle, or majesty in mud?  Exactly what is there, beyond the banal acknowledgement of a watered lawn or garden, to commend a rainy day?  A hint of an answer presented itself recently in an unlikely place on an unlikely day.  

Knobby fingers of darksome clouds stretched their grip across the horizon.  From those fingers trickled a steady drip of rain.  Hardly ideal weather for a vacation, but there we were.  And there it was—rain—lots of it. 

Opening the car door, I happened to glance down.  I am guessing that a parking lot has never before framed a canvas of priceless art.  Yet it seemed to right then.

A perfectly shaped maple leaf blazed an almost surreal red against the coal black asphalt.  The leaf was bordered by soggy tan wet wispiness—seeds, perhaps.  By contrast, they were boring and colorless.  All the better to spotlight that leaf!  The sheen of water over the electric red leaf gave it the appearance of those plastic coated wood tables you sometimes see in restaurants. 

Would I have noticed the leaf had it not been a rainy day?  Perhaps.  But would it have appeared as stunningly beautiful (enough to take a picture of it) without the rain?   Likely not.  The rain brought a peculiar grandeur, a glisten.

Which brings me to a question or two.  Is life a steady drip of disappointment for you lately?  Had your umbrella up for longer than you can remember?  We’re not the first!

It was in the storm that Paul offered a beautiful word of comfort to an unbelieving crew about the protective hand of God.  It was in the storm that Jesus handed His disciples the priceless jewel of belief that “even the wind and waves obey Him.”

Maybe it’s time for us to look down and find the beauty right where we are.    Right in the storm.   Beauty, after all, has been known to show up in the most unexpected places. 

 

 

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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