Snapping Cold Mornings

This last week has brought some of the worst and best of our Northwest weather.

Tuesday was the worst: ‘Ugly Rain‘. It was a truly ugly morning, the kind of morning that when you look out at it, makes you want to make a hot toddy and go back to bed. We had 10-12 knot winds, slanting, soaking, cold rain at that perfect-worst temperature which guarantees a chill to the bone: 38°. It was one of those mornings where I grab my old Australian-style cowboy hat (the one that slouches front and rear) to keep the rain from blowing down my neck, pull up the zipper on my most-waterproof jacket, and put a raincoat on Wheaton, our Golden Retriever. He can always tell when it’s not going to be fun to go walking – he hesitates a moment before going out the door.

Yes, Ugly Rain. Halfway down the lane, you have to blow your nose, and the rain manages to soak your handkerchief before you can shove it back in your pocket. You’re starting to feel the wet, soaking cold because your jeans are getting soaked through in the front. You get to the end, jam the newspaper in your pocket, and head back at your best walking speed. Halfway back, you realize that your jeans are getting soaked through, this time from the back. They’re already soaked through from the front, and it makes you feel colder.

A very Ugly rain. You get in the door, and your nose immediately drips with big ugly drips. Trying to wipe it is worthless because your handkerchief is soaked through. The dog is waiting patiently to get out of his raincoat (good boy!), and meanwhile the water running from your coats is making a big puddle in the entry. My normally unsoakable hat is soaked through at the band, making an uncomfortable cold wet ring around my head.

And all day, it just pounded this cold, dense, ugly rain.

Thank God that he doesn’t inflict this kind of thing on us too often. I think the only reason that Starbucks got popular was so that people could get in out of the ugly rains like this one.

But don’t go away yet. God always has something planned. If there’s one lesson he’s patiently teaching me it’s the one to wait on him.

In this case, it was to show me the contrast between mornings like Tuesday and mornings like it has been like yesterday and today. Wednesday it was as if we’d been transported somewhere magical: the clouds and rain had cleared, and the temperature plummeted like a skydiver to the high mid 20s.

I arose on Wednesday to behold the scene outside and suddenly felt like I’d been resurrected.

Here was God, showing off. I could easily imagine the Father, chest sticking out proudly, and gesturing with an outstretched arm, quietly inviting me to behold his work. The air was snapping-clear from the rain and the cold, and the River of Clouds was shouting choruses of GLORY TO GOD! I very, very seldom see it so well-defined and so snapping-crisp in appearance. I literally ran to get something – anything –  to make a photo, because up here in the mountains, things like this are only for a moment.

This is God, commanding the sun to rise. This is his living, breathing creation, responding to his touch.

And I get to share it with you:

Snapping clear: The River of Clouds

Snapping clear: The River of Clouds

(Click to enlarge. Click it twice for full size in your browser. Scroll it back and forth. I can sure tell you that in person, your breath is taken away.)

Psalm 68:4-5

Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.  A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

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