Rain was already beating down against my window when I woke up at 4:30 this morning. I wanted to spend a few extra minutes just lying in bed and listening to the rampant storm. I love storms, especially when I am safely tucked away in my room. Whenever it rains, I just meditate and allow myself to indulge in a moment of silly daydreaming without any guilt or shame for wasting the time away. But I couldn’t let myself enjoy the moment. I wasn’t awakened by the storm outside my home. I didn’t wake up naturally. No, instead, I was awakened by the beeping of my alarm clock, which pulled me away from my deep sleep and hazy dream. To suddenly open up my senses to the rain was the only blessing of this rude awakening. I couldn’t find any pleasure in the morning storm today. I had to get up and get dressed. I was scheduled to be at work at 6 am.
Because of the inclement weather, I wanted to leave for work at least fifteen minutes early today. I hurried through my morning routine and only twenty minutes after waking up, I was cleaned-up, dressed, and standing beside the front door. I yanked the door open and stepped out onto the porch. The rain was falling heavily in a thick, blurry sheet. For a moment, I just stood on the porch and watched the huge drops hammer down onto the front lawn, the trees, the street, and my car. I took a deep cleansing breath and sighed. I didn’t mind getting wet. I was only concerned about my books. No matter where I go, I always tend to carry at least two books with me. I had my books tucked into my gym bag but it wasn’t a lot of protection. The gym bag’s zipper had broken several months ago and now the bag gaped open at the top. I had taken the extra precaution of wrapping my books in two plastic bags, so hopefully, for my short walk to the car, the books would not be damaged by the pouring rain. I took a deep breath, stepped off the porch, and ran down the small hill to the curb where my vehicle waited for me. I unlocked the door and tossed my gym bag and purse into the passenger seat before climbing into the car. I shivered for a moment before I started the engine and turned the heater on high. There was a chill to the morning air, but that was all right. I was just really grateful that it was only rain. living in Kansas for the last several months, I have been slightly on edge weather-wise. I am grateful that we have had a mild winter without a heavy snowfall this year. Now, it is March 27, 2016, and the storm only produced large raindrops and a chilly, gusting wind.
I put the car into drive and began my trek to work. I hadn’t even made it out of my own neighborhood before a large bolt of lightning lit up the dark sky and turned the world to a dusky gray. The lightning ignited my adrenaline and sent a tingling thrill racing through my body. It was going to be an interesting commute to work today. With my wipers squeaking across the windshield, large raindrops were batted away so I could focus on where I was going. I stared out at the storm and suddenly had to catch my breath.
Oh, My Gosh, I thought as I watched the rain slashing in diagonal strips towards me as I drove onto the 435 South from State Avenue. There is something different about this rain. This morning’s rain was no longer the usually wet, watery drops. Instead, I watched as huge, white streaks raced all around me. Oh, my gosh, I sighed, it just can’t be! Oh, my gosh, is that….snow! Snow?!? How can it be snow!? The arrival of spring had been announced on the news on March 20. Now, here I was, on March 27, seven days later, driving to work in the snow. No, I had to be wrong. Maybe this was nothing more than furry raindrops. Maybe it was just some sort of reflection from the moon. I switched my headlights over to high beams. Immediately, the white streaks became thicker and raced towards me from every direction. I had to laugh then. I used to love watching snowfall with my high beams turned up. The quickly moving white streaks, always made me feel like I had suddenly switched over to hyperdrive in the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars. It always made me giggle. So, now, I chuckled to myself and then refocused. I was out on the highway at five in the morning driving through the rain. My mind was still rejecting the notion that I was in the middle of a snowstorm. Even in “hyperdrive,” I refused to believe I was seeing snow. However, I still slowed down a little bit and carefully made my way to work.
I drove into the lot, parked the car, turned off my headlights, and climbed out of my vehicle. The darkened sky was still releasing heavy drops as I stood in the parking lot. I now got a good look at the outside of my car. Oh, my gosh…there was no way to deny it now. My car was covered in snow…and a thin layer of ice! And the large, white flakes were still coming down as I turned and hurriedly ran inside of the retail store where I worked on the weekends.
As my co-workers arrived, we all talked excitedly about the weather and laughed as we told stories about the unpredictable snowfall and our commute to work. This humor seemed to set the tone for the rest of the day. Despite the dreary weather, everyone seemed to be in a good mood. As my colleagues and I set to work, we continued to talk and laugh throughout the day. The weather was no longer the only topic of conversation. We talked about families, our jobs, our holiday…
Every now and then, one of my co-workers and I would walk over to one of the windows cut in the middle of the large bay doors and watch the snowfall. Between the work and the more relaxed atmosphere, the day seemed to go by very quickly and soon it was three o’clock. My workday had come to a quick end. I finished the last of my assignments, stored away my equipment, said good-bye to my co-workers, and grabbed my purse and coat from my locker. I sighed peacefully, thankful for having a good day, as headed for the exit.
I knew that the storm had ended a little while before, but I was still surprised at what I found once I stepped outside. Early this morning, I had been surprised by large white snowflakes. But now, I was shocked to find the world bathed in glorious bright sunshine! There was not one single snowflake to be found anywhere that afternoon. The sky was clear blue, the sun was beaming, and the ground, after such a huge storm, was surprisingly dry. I felt like skipping across the quiet earth now as I strolled to the back of the lot where my car was parked. As I unlocked the door and climbed inside of my vehicle, I suddenly had an amazing thought that made me smile.
Today was Easter! Today is the day that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The weather had been a perfect metaphor for this day. The day had begun in darkness with stormy weather and a surprising snowfall. It had ended with bright sunshine and beautiful skies. He is risen! From darkness into light. From sadness into peace. From fear into safety. From winter into spring. From sin to being saved.
Several weeks ago, I had hoped to spend this day with my brother, Tony, and sister-in-law, Mary. I was disappointed when I had been scheduled to work. Though I had to spend the day at my job, I really didn’t mind now. Maybe I was meant to go to work today so that I could laugh and bond with my co-workers. Maybe I was meant to go to work on this holy day to feel as if I had some worth. Maybe I was meant to go to work today so that God could give me this glorious illustration of the rising of Jesus Christ.
Now, I know that no matter where I am on a holiday—at work, home alone, with family or friends—it really doesn’t matter. Holidays happen within the heart. If I recognize God’s grace every day, even on working holidays, how can I ever feel sad or discouraged? Yes, I had to work today, Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016, but I have never experienced a more profound significance of this holiday until now.
Happy Easter, everyone! May you, too, experience the peace and blessings of this beautiful holiday! Jesus is Risen! We are saved from sin, from storms, from disappointment…Jesus saves!