("Blowin’ in the Wind" is a regular feature on my blog consisting of an assortment of nature writings – hymns, songs, excerpts, prayers, Bible readings, poems or other things – pieces I may not have written but that inspire me or have given me joy. I trust they will do the same for you.)
Many of us are weather watchers, though I confess mild puzzlement with those who can watch Weather Channel all day long. When Gail and I are in the Northwoods with very little radio reception, no internet access or television signal, and even limited cellphone coverage, we are glad for faithful access to a trusty little weather radio my sister gave us that tunes in without fail to NOAA whenever we want it. And though we joke about the three computerized voices on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s station, whom we lovingly call Oley, Lena and George (one male and one female voice sound amazingly Scandinavian), we’re always grateful we can know routine weather for our possible outdoor activities, let alone be apprised of stormy or dangerous weather conditions headed our way.
But in addition to that, we also pay fairly close attention to the weather in about ten places around the country where family and other loved ones live, one of which is Seattle. We often heard this summer from our kids and other friends who live there, or nearby, that it was hot and dry yet again, with the Washington state motto “The Evergreen State” feeling more and more a misnomer. Even without the personal connections, though, no one who keeps track of the news could have missed knowing of the incredible dry spell experienced in the Pacific Northwest this past season, or of the dozens of fires that were spawned among those lovely western trees blistering in tinder dry conditions. Midwest sunsets, heavy with dispersed smoke and deeply red, constantly told their version of the story as well.
In the midst of it, I received a brief, group email greeting from a friend, John Kiemele, who directs a ministry called Selah Center in the greater Puget Sound area. Selah Center is an intentional community of diverse, contemplative Christians, dedicated to the development of Christlikeness through such things as events, retreats, spiritual direction, courses and prayer experiences. John wrote of the scorching, choking heat as compared to the extravagant, refreshing love of our good God. I desired immediately to share it with you as a part of my “Blowin’ in the Wind” feature. And so, with this post, I’d like to begin to feature from time to time guest columnists who have allowed me to share their writing in this way. John Kiemele, Selah Center, writing to his network:
Dear Companions and Friends,
It’s dry. Brittle, crunching, flammable dry.
It’s serious dry. It’s dangerous dry.
A few months ago we scratched our heads as those desperate for rainfall watched neighboring states try to navigate and survive torrential flooding. Dark, promising clouds gather and yet drift on their drop-less way at the sun’s persistence. From sea level to mountain top, from coast to coast, it’s dry.
And then there is God’s love. No matter the season, God’s love is. Ever-present. Constant. Thorough. Incarnational. Torrential. And truth be told… Dangerous. It’s God’s love.
One of our expressed values as the Selah community is that “We affirm God’s initiating love, expressed profoundly in Christ Jesus.”
We recognize that God does not and cannot turn off or cease loving. Each breath comes from Love and bursts with Love. All that is is because of God’s Love. The beloved apostle writes that without Love nothing was made that has been made.
Aaaahh…God’s Love…always initiating, always flowing, always drenching my life with expression and invitation.
Recalling an image from a poem I heard long ago, my prayer today is that I come into this day, stepping into the constant flow of God’s Love, carrying not a thimble but buckets!!
So be it.
Peace and love to you in this good day.
Thank you, John!
(John writes regularly and inspirationally in a group email he calls Selah Reflections. Contact the website via the bolded link above for further information about this ministry.)
~~ RGM, October 8 2015