I love rain. A few weeks ago there was a surprisingly strong thunderstorm in San Diego and I was at home with my sister, Sarah, and Dad. It started raining and progressively became louder, including thunder and bright flashes of light. At one moment, after the house lost power, Sarah and I decided to make a fire and had a lovely evening watching the storm.
I was also in Colombia a couple of weeks ago (which I will detail more below), and during this trip there were thunderstorms nearly every night. The storms and rain left us unexpectedly running towards shelter a couple of times, stranded on a sidewalk for 30 minutes waiting for a taxi to make it through flooded streets, and running to get clothes from the clothesline outside. One evening we slept in hammocks in a local national park and I fell asleep to strikingly loud thunder, lightning, and a 90’s female country artist playlist. It was magical.
I was never terribly inconvenienced by the rain, but I witnessed the way rain can shut a city down. It can impact transportation, safety, and business can be lost. We have all heard of the recent flooding on the East Coast and those who have lost their homes because of rain. It can be destructive as well as life giving.
I have recently found myself wishing the world was more black and white. I wish I could be thankful that a friend was healed or found a job without thinking about the neighbor whose child died or who lost their home and loved ones in horrific fires. I wish I could go to church without doubts running through my head and frustrations about they way God is represented so differently a few doors down. I wish I could vote with confidence instead of cynicism.
So, even though I can’t look at the rain and see only good and beauty, I still can see good and beauty. There is always a little bit of sadness that accompanies my joy. This doesn’t mean I have lost hope. It means I will spend my life looking for the joy but not ignoring the broken. In reality, I wouldn’t trade this. I want this awareness to be motivating and to never let me sit in my comfortable bubble. Though I recognize I cannot and should not bear all of the burdens of the world, being aware of them helps me to live in a way that seeks redemption and healing. At least, I hope that it does. We are not called to comfort. I don’t ever want to go back to a blissful ignorance, but want to balance the brokenness and joy in a way which never stops seeking God’s kingdom.
On a different note- A couple of updates on my life are below:
I have taken a travel nurse assignment in Reno, Nevada and will be here for a few months. I bought a ski pass and am looking forward to spending as much time in snow as possible. I am renting a room from a lovely woman, have found a church, and am currently sitting in a coffee shop after driving around to explore the city. I will be working in geriatric psych while here and so far am fond of the hospital.
I also went to Colombia recently with a good friend, Candy, who was born and raised there. It was an incredible honor to be invited home with her, to meet her wonderful friends and family, and explore the beautiful Country. We spent several days in Santa Marta, slept in hammocks in Tayrona Natural Park, helped decorate for her parents’ anniversary party, explored the adorable village of Villa de Leyva and ended the trip with a few days in Bogota. It was a trip filled with moments of awe, beauty, friendliness, adventure, discomfort, and vulnerability. I knew my Spanish was nothing to brag about, but definitely felt more confident than I should have going in. By the end of the trip I could understand the majority of conversations, but spent a lot of time asking people to repeat things and trying to pick up main concepts. I felt incredibly humbled during the trip, being so reliant on my amazing hosts for communication, planning, and safety for the majority of the trip. It is amazing how any step outside a comfort zone can help shift priorities. I left both challenged and grateful, seeing far more similarities than differences, and with a broader and more beautiful picture of the world we live in.