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It has been a rather dreary day: heavily overcast and, while not cold by any stretch of the imagination, it has been a little on the cool-ish side, which just seemed to add to the misery.  (BTW, if you woke up feeling giddy, have had an exceptionally stellar day, and everything just kept coming up rainbows, butterflies, and unicorns for you, please kindly disregard this message; there’s no need to bring you down this late in the day!)

Anyway, by mid-afternoon, in an effort to beat the tightening grip of a serious case of the “blahs,” Coleman and I escaped the claustrophobic clutches of the house for a long, four-hour drive.  We never succeeded in outrunning the overcast skies, but at least the scenery changed frequently.  Two cups of coffee, 5 CDs, and a bag of McDonald’s & Diet Dr. Pepper (for Coleman) later, we were nearing home again when suddenly there was brilliant orangy-red light on the horizon.  A clear break in the cloud line had become visible just above the limits of the western sky.  I’ve attached a photo.  Yes, of course I was driving when I took it!  I love how even Coleman seems drawn to the light, welcoming it back like a long lost friend.  

I wanted to send the photo this evening in case you happened to miss the “just-under-the-wire” appearance of the sun today, and if, like me, you were seriously missing it.  It was a reminder to me that the sun had been blazing in the sky all day long; it had just been obscured and hidden by things that were more closely located overhead.  And, while the sun was setting here, day was breaking in Bangladesh and other places along that longitudinal line. I hope that the people in those locations were welcoming the sun into a clear blue sky!

I don’t know what kind of clouds you may have been dealing with in your life today.  They come in a multitude of manifestations, shapes, and sizes.  Some days they can pretty much dominate our skies.  Whatever form the clouds in your life may have taken today, and however it might have discouraged or disheartened you, I’m very sorry that you’re experiencing those things right now. 

Hang in there!  Storms pass, clouds dissipate, and skies clear.  Just look out the window with Coleman!

Throughout my years in ministry, there have been regular instances when some sort of enlightenment occurred; a light bulb moment; an epiphany; a connection made between certain Scriptures or ideas that I had never pondered before; the realization of an analogy or parallel that could be drawn between some mundane, earthly thing and a spiritual reality; a seed thought for a sermon or article.  Historically, a significantly high percentage of these moments have come while in the shower or while pushing or riding a lawn mower.  I’m not necessarily proud of that fact, and I have no real explanation for it.  It just is what it is.     

Early one morning last week, while rinsing the shampoo out of my hair, I detected the sound of Coleman coming up the stairs.  Mind you, I heard this through a wall and above the sound of pressurized water hitting the top of my head.  When Coleman ascends the stairs, even barefoot, he does so with a definitive, wall-penetrating “thump, thump, thump.”  He had apparently gotten out of bed while I was in the shower and had made a trip downstairs, which he does with much more stealth than he does coming up.  To my relief, Kim had heard him leave his room and had gotten up to check on him.  It’s not that I was concerned about his safety.  He just needs assistance with his meals, and he has this little habit of leaving the refrigerator door open and/or the milk container on the countertop when he’s foraging for food or something to drink, or he leaves the garage refrigerator open when he absconds with a can of Diet Dr. Pepper.  Kim tended to his needs, prevented the appliances from defrosting, and sent Coleman happily stomping back up the stairs.      

That’s when it hit me:  Coleman is never alone, and he never has been.  In his 27 years of life, he has never been without the presence of another person.  Although he sleeps in his own room (most of the time anyway!), we sleep in the adjacent room with the door open so that we can hear his door if it opens in the middle of the night.  He regularly plays on his computer and on his iPad in his room, but someone is always just downstairs.  He has never been left alone… anywhere… ever… not even for a second.  If he is not with one or both of us, he is with someone we know and trust, someone who loves him and cares about him.

Then, what had hit me once hit me again:  None of us are ever alone.  Even when we might think we are.  Even when there are no other humans near us.  Even in those seemingly solitary moments when we might feel isolated, or lonely, or forgotten.  Our faithful, loving Father, who cannot lie, has promised, “I will never leave you; I will always be by your side,” (Hebrews 13:5).

Never alone.

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