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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Smell

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Secretly, it arrived in the night. Well, as secretive as a thunderstorm can. At first, there was no loud boom or a bright flash of light. There was no steady rhythm of rainfall either. Outside my window the world was settling into the darkness. What got me to notice the falling droplets of water from the high heavens was it’s refreshing smell.

Slowly my living room began filling with the aroma of precipitation. Because I couldn’t hear or see signs of a storm, I rose to my feet and looked out the window. My discovery was the cobble stone street reflecting the rays from the street lamps. The rust colored bricks were ablaze in an artificial radiance, just as they did in the winter: slick.

Standing on the boulevard, I saw the first flash of energy in the sky off in the distance. A low rumble, similar to that of Silas when he is annoyed with Chloe’s antics to get him to play, came shortly after. It was a matter of time before the tranquility of the rain would be disrupted by the storm the westward winds would usher in.
Silence has substance and perhaps a smell, too. In the gentle descent of the rain I was reminded of the way things stir by night. How the wind brought in a fragrance that flooded my memory with feelings of happiness and joy. Suddenly my whole being was saturated with a reminder of God’s often-unseen grace and love. Between the raindrops emerged this comforting silence.
Sophia, that is her name to many. Others call her “Spirit.” Whatever title and gender you ascribe, the Wisdom of God comes forth, reaching from end to end mightily, but gently. This Wisdom, Sophia, wills to be also the unseen pivot of all nature, the center and significance of all the light that is in all and for all: mercy and love. This promise, in any storm, can usher us to sweet sleep.

 

“[Sunshine] burns in the sky like the Face of God, but we do not know his countenance as terrible.” God speaks to us gently in ten thousand things, in which God’s light is one fullness and one Wisdom. On that couch, seduced by that smell, love cornered me and surrounded me with peace without having to look very far or very hard or do anything special. My spirit was awakened.

Summoning me in the sweet, unforeseen fragrance of rain was a Gift of our Creator’s thought and art within me, speaking as Sophia. That is how God speaks though, isn’t it? God’s Wisdom, cries out to all who will hear and cries out particularly to the little, to the scared and the helpless. Indeed, O blessed, Silent One, who speaks everywhere! Out of the silence Light is spoken…


or smelled….

[Adam Quine, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Lincoln]

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