Cleansing Sleet, Really?
I just stood out in a driving snow and sleet storm and prayed, “cleanse me from my sins and clothe me in righteousness.” Yep, right there on the podium of my porch I lifted my arms and face to the sky. Icy pellets pecked at my arms, my hands, my neck my face. And all I could say was, “in the name of Jesus Christ let me be forgiven.”
And the storm responded, “In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.”
Now what kind of encounter was that?! I’m no mystic, no monk, no nun, not even a pastor. I’m just a low-on-the-totem-pole human in need of a great deal of grace. And now I am hearing God chuckling because He knows how He got me out there.
The snow began with big, beautiful, ungainly flakes. Sort of snow flying saucers landing in my backyard. At first there were just a couple. I thought they were leaves blowing. But then there were more and then more. Large, lovely, floating and inviting.
“Come see me,” they said. “Come catch me on your tongue.”
And so I wandered out, opened my hands and my mouth – yes, of course, and waited for the gentle covering. But they were not gentle. At once they became smaller and rounder. They landed in my hands with a thud. Little ice balls. Where was the lattice work? The floating beauty that invited me.
It had been replaced by a freezing, cleansing rain.
And that is the way with me and God. He invites me into a moment of ease and loveliness and then shows me what’s meant for me. A moment of encounter. A moment when I am no longer the initiator. He is. And my human senses are set aside but an internal listening is tuned in. One that bids me speak. One that even bypasses my listening.
Direct deposit of a sort. All at once it’s there but I don’t remember hearing it.
Giving thanks in the storm for refreshment and renewed hearing of a message I needed to know again.