The Sun on my Shoulders

Today was the first day that the Puget Sound region has seen the sun, in a loooong time. Of course this is not much of a surprise. As a native Washingtonian, I have grown accustomed to 100 day stretches of overcast, drippy weather. However, this winter has been a doosy. I’ve been hearing a lot of rain laments even from long-time residents.  How many of you can agree with me, in the middle of a dreary northwest winter, a speck of sunshine will literally stop people in their tracks? People might even congregate in a spot of sun on the sidewalk, just to feel it’s bright warmth!

Sadly, my son stayed home from school today recovering from a bout with the flu. Neither one of us was able to experience today’s warm weather gift. As I mentioned in my “What’s this about Holy Leisure?” post, I did take full advantage of this sick day. I wore my pajamas until well past noon and caught up on my reading. I also took a few moments to soak in the sun through my big picture window. This reminded me of a childhood memory that has a lot of meaning to me.

A Memory of God’s Presence

When I was young I lived with my grandparents and sister on a small farm in a rural area of western Washington. One morning I was playing by myself outside in our gravel driveway. I remember sitting on a small patch of grass and weeds playing with the rocks. I’m not sure why I was out there, but I often would go out in the morning and enjoy the sounds of the farm waking up. To be honest, I probably had been sent out there to do some chore and was dilly-dallying. I just remember sitting there with the sun warming my back and shoulders. It was a quiet moment – I felt very pleased and content.

About 10 years after this memory, I was a young college student. I had recently come to faith and was in prayer with God about some very difficult times in my past. I was asking Him, “Why weren’t you there with me? Why did I have to go through all of that alone?”. He answered me by bringing back this memory. It’s as though God was saying to me, “I was the sun on your shoulders, you were not alone.” This vivid memory literally warmed me through to my core.

So, if you are feeling alone. Remember there is never a time when God is not near. If  you need to feel like He is there. Find a speck of sun and let it rest on your shoulders. Turn to God and He will not disappoint you.

Think for a moment about Moses. He desperately wanted to see the glory of  the LORD. The LORD, knowing that Moses could not survive a face to face encounter with holiness, devised a plan. He placed Moses in a cleft of a rock and covered Moses. Just as the LORD passed by, He uncovered Moses. Moses was able to catch a quick glimpse of the LORD’s backside, and heard the LORD exclaim, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin…”. (Exodus 34:6-7)

Our God is awesome and holy. He understands our need to feel His presence. Sometimes we will get a glimpse of His mighty splendor. Sometimes, we can feel the warmth of the sun and remember that the creator of the heavens and the earth is near.

Photo by Guy Schmidt on Flick’r.

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