Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Why I will never look at umbrellas the same again

It was the day of the election. Here in Philly, the weather really reflected the overall sentiment. The previous day had been sunny and bright, unseasonable warm. This day was grey and cold. Rain was intermittent, sometimes a gently trickle of tearlike drops, sometimes a driving cascade of grief inducing torrents. It felt as though nature

Hillary lost the election.

We lost the election.

An election that was so much more than merely choosing a candidate for a position, but one that ignored respect, decency, equality, and fairness. That was enough to make any person with good sense grieve.

I had tried my best to just get through the day. As I shared with you before, I hugged a woman more grief stricken than I outside of Starbucks, I tried to do some sort of self care, but as much as I tried, the waves grief simply wouldn't stop. All I could do was let them pass.

So, as with all things, every time one of those waves rose up, I turned to talk to God. No, I didn't fall on my knees in some dramatic form. I simply started talking, and waiting for some form of response. They came in gentle whispers and various moments through out the day.

As I was leaving from a work session, the sky really opened up. I had forgotten my umbrella at home. Combine my already sad mood with being both cold and wet and you can see how my mood could have gone from sad to all out despair.

But something within me pushed me. It said to me "Things are going to be all right." And a warmth wafted over me, an inner reassurance that, no matter what, I was loved, I mattered, and that I would be taken care of.

As I was walking, still wet, still cold, but not as sad, I said to God "Ok. I'll trust you. I know that know matter what, you will take care of me." I went to cross the street, a street that is infamous for having large puddles during moments of prolonged rain. There, floating in my direction in one of the larger puddles, handle pointed up, wide open, like a boat, was a black umbrella. I took the handle and lifted it to inspect it.

Not a hole, not a tear.

It was perfect.

A perfect umbrella in a sudden storm. A perfect umbrella in a sudden storm that only came, not when God changed the circumstances around me (because He didn't), but changed my attitude within me. I now had a tangible reminder of that promise, that, no matter what, if I trusted Him, God would take care of me.

I'm sad to say that today, while rushing off of the train, I lost that very tangible reminder of God's protection. Something within me said to not put iron the floor. But it was so wet, I didn't want to cover the seat with water once I had left. I wish I had just listened.

But to be honest, part of me is okay with not having it. I am sad that I lost it (in a very Whitney way to lose things) But I don't think that God would want me to cling to an object more than I should cling to the lesson learned. After all, The Bible says that we as believers "live by faith and not by sight."(2 Corinthians 5:7) Maybe the most important thing I got out of all of this was not a faith souvenir, but a testimony of God's love and faithfulness.

I will never look at umbrellas the same again.

So, to whomever is riding the Regional Rail trains, if you happen to find a non descriptor black umbrella tucked underneath one of the center seats of the train car, you have found something special, a tangible answer to an attitude change.