It's that sort of day .. yes, THAT sort! Cold, winter cold in mid-spring, wet, windy grey, the sort of weather when I start seriously pondering the merits of hibernation! Miserable weather, though why we call the weather miserable when the weather, as far as I know, is probably perfectly happy, and we are the ones feeling miserable .. Could it be we humans are sometimes a touch ego-centric?
I look out on this inhospitable day, and words form in my head, stream of consciousness really:
Rain, cold and sharp as sleet,
Fall on my hands and feet,
Consecrate me anew,
Sanctify all I do.
Well, for the literal minded, :-) obviously the rain isn't falling falling on my hands and feet, I'm indoors, dry if not quite cosy (my inner puritan can't quite grasp the idea of turning on the heater in October, even if it is only 11C outside), but perhaps, bear with my fancy for a moment, there is a sense in which I can surrender to coldness, bleakness, uncertainty and loneliness, acknowledge them, acknowledge that loss and dying and need are simply realities of the human condition, and that dying, in small things and large is a necessary precondition to living in Christ.
Then, accepting these things would become as much an act of consecration as accepting the richness of the Spirit's anointing and the warnth of the Father's embrace. I am not an ascetic by temperament, my natural bent is to see God most easily through loveliness and wonder, but I recognise the reality of the discipline of simplicity, and the fact that we cannot wholeheartedly live to one thing without dying to something else. (An analogy would be marriage -- in committing myself to life with one man, I die to the possibility of having the same kind of relationship with any other man, if I did not do that, I would be something less than wholly given to my marriage.)
Likewise, as much as God showers good gifts on His children, and cares for our human needs and pains, I am less than wholly given to Him if I look for my ultimate comfort anywhere else. He has promised us more love than we can conceive or imagine, He never promised to give it on our terms. And, day by day, I must surrender afresh to the discipline of receiving life on His terms, not my own, and acknowledging the reality of His presence in absence as well as richness.
And the cold rain, that falls alike on the just and the unjust, is still His mercy to a parched and weary earth ..