Saturday, July 17, 2010

Head in the Clouds

By Belinda

Psalm 84:1-2 (New International Version)
For the director of music. According to gittith. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm. [a]

1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.


The sun slid down the evening sky like a giant scoop of strawberry icecream melting in the evening heat and about to turn into a puddle on the horizon.

As we reached the corner of our street, Homer, the golden dog with a curly tail who always throws himself at us and gets rudely yanked back by his chain, was barking "Hello" and darting wildly from side to side. I think, "Poor Homer."

We pass the one fine dining restaurant, in our hamlet, Poco Cappello. Behind the well stocked, mature perennial garden, is a patio with tables and umbrellas. The restaurant is always busy and the murmer of voices wafts across the road from the patio tables as we pass.

Tonight the sky is a shield of pale, dusky rose, but a couple of evenings ago, when Molson had nudged me out for a walk, I had looked up after passing a girls soccer game in the park and been amazed at the dramatic cloud formations, which looked like a kingdom in the air, I was so glad that Molson had tempted me out of the house, darkened and air-conditioned against the  heat. What I would have missed.

The evening  sky that night, reminded me of a time many years ago--a less  happy time--when I sometimes looked up at the sky with longing, thinking of heaven. It is almost incomprehensible to me now that I ever felt that way, but more than once in my life, I have. Circumstances have been tough or sad--I was in the "Valley of Baca," the Valley of Weeping, spoken of in my favourite psalm: Psalm 84:

5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.

6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools. [a]


The old adage that "this too, thall pass" really is true. No difficulty lasts forever, and, if we only hang on, God brings us through painful times, as these lyrics by Yolanda Adams express so well.

In the middle of the turbulence surrounding you
These trying times that are so hard to endure
In the middle of what seems to be your darkest hour
Hold fast your heart and be assured

This too shall pass
Like every night that's come before it
He'll never give you more than you can bear
This too shall pass
So in this thought be comforted
It's in His Hands
This too shall pass

The Father knows the tears you cry before they fall
He feels your pain, His heart and yours are one
The Father knows that sorrow's heavy chains are strong
But with His strength, you'll overcome

This too shall pass
Like every night that's come before it
He'll never give you more than you can bear
This too shall pass
So in this thought be comforted
It's in His Hands
This too shall pass

So set your eyes upon the mountain
And lift your hands up to the sky
And let His arms of love surround you
And take you to the other side

This too shall pass
Like every night that's come before it
He'll never give you more than you can bear
This too shall pass
So in this thought be comforted
It's in His Hands
This too shall pass


I walked on that evening and the next time I looked up, to my amazement, I saw a cloud in the exact formation of a picture I had seen several years ago in The Angel Shop in the village of St. Jacobs. I was there with my daughter in law Sue and our foster daughter Tammy and I had an inexplicably emotional reaction to the photograph when the saleswoman told me the story behind it.

The photo had been taken by a woman whose daughter had given birth to a baby that was still-born. She had gone away to a cottage to mourn the loss of the grandchild she never got to know, and in the evening at sunset, took a photograph of the lake. When the film was developed, there in the sky was a cloud that looked distinctly like an angel, holding a child in it's arms. It was a source of great comfort to the woman and has been to many others since then.

I cried in the shop when I saw it, even though I didn't know why it affected me so strongly. I had to leave the store to compose myself. Exactly the same cloud formation was in the sky a couple of nights ago.

Soon, tonight, we were on our way home. We passed The Bond Head Restaurant; not a fine dining establishment, but a family friendly place where George has been serving the best pizza in the world for the 22 years that we have lived here. The neon light blinks, "Open." I don't think I've ever seen it closed, and I wonder when George ever goes home! Tonight that's where I soon will be, grateful for peace; grateful for joy; grateful for God's sustaining grace.

Psalm 84:11-12 (New International Version)

11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.

12 O LORD Almighty,
blessed is the man who trusts in you.

3 comments:

Dave Hingsburger said...

Ah dark times and light skies, how often the two go together. Right now I am experiencing horrible bouts of depression as a side effect of medications and I have to keep reminding myself that, yes, there is a sun in the sky!

Belinda said...

Dear Dave,
I truly feel for you and Joe.
"This too shall pass." May it pass quickly.

It is so horrible to be living with an altered sense of reality. Hard for you; hard for those who care...

Susan said...

"This too shall pass."

I needed to hear that this morning. What a peaceful, hopeful post. Thank you once again!