This past week during my fall break vacation to the beach we had a miserably rainy day. The fog rolled in over the ocean and the low spots quickly filled with water. There would be no beach bathing for us this day.
Not to be outdone by this storm, my friend and I ventured out to shop. The problem was, we only had one umbrella, which we were determined to share. We giggled the whole way, each of us holding the umbrella in the middle. Dashing from our car to the stores and stepping over (and sometimes through) the puddles, we made a good day of it together.
We came back to our condo a wet mess, but full of packages and bags. The day was a success and I was glad that we didn't avoid the storm by staying inside.
That's how it's supposed to be, I thought. None of us are meant to walk through the rain alone.
For too long, I tried to walk through the storm of my grief alone. I was determined to carry the umbrella solo. I don't know if I was too proud to ask for help, afraid my grief would scare people away, or simply didn't know what I needed. How stupid of me to waste those months.
Jesus calls us to that middle place. He asks us to take hold of that handle. "Love one another," he says. One another--that's two people under the umbrella, giving and receiving and carrying the load together.
I have some friends that are going through some pretty bad storms in their lives right now. It's time for me to hold out the umbrella and help share their load.
No storm lasts forever. Eventually the skies will clear and we'll share the joy after the rain. Maybe a rainbow will appear or we'll jump in a puddle or two. And we'll be glad that we shared the umbrella together.