The post title is actually the name of an album by Hothouse Flowers. They're an Irish band (if you know me at all, you know how I love the Irish bands) that hasn't gotten much play outside of WXRT in the early 90's. I had "Songs From the Rain" on a cassette tape which is long worn out from frequent play. There's a brilliant track called "Thing of Beauty" on it that always elevates my soul when I hear it, but the rest of the album is kind of melancholy and just the sort of background music you could imagine playing on a dreary, rainy day like today.
Days when it's easy to let the weather overcome you with it's wide gray showers.
It's been raining so long here we've passed mood-altering and headed straight for pity party. Everything I heard today made me more emotional. And I heard a lot of stuff that would tug at heart strings on a bright sunny day.
I spoke with a friend who has a child battling addiction. And another who is facing divorce. And still another who just learned the cancer she beat four years ago is back. All while the rain beat the rooftop and the windows offered little light.
I kept hearing this song in my head called Emotional Time. The lyrics are actually pretty encouraging but the melody is like the rain.
As I was contemplating my friends' stories I found myself running the gamut of emotions -gratitude that I'm not facing such difficult circumstances - compassion for my friends who were - hope that our God is good - frustration that I didn't offer more comfort - grief over their grief.
Galatians 6:2 tells us to carry each other's burdens. A few verses later it says not to become weary in doing good because at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we don't give up. I believe that's true.
I was in tears before my work day even started. We had a staff meeting and one of the pastors was recapping our Easter weekend activities and spun off into a little exhortation of the Gospel as he's prone to do. The words that hit me most were when he said "uncreated God condescended to sinful man." The God of the universe who has always been there - no one created Him - stooped down to rescue me when I was still His enemy. And there was nothing I had to offer Him in return. So I was emotional even before all the stories began.
I know God is good. I know the world defines "good" differently than God does. And I know His definition serves me better. I know all this. I can even communicate all this to my friends who are suffering far worse trials than a prolonged rain and heightened sensitivity level.
But it didn't change my mood.
One of my favorite children's books is Alexander and the Horrible, Terrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day. It follows a child through a particularly frustrating day in which he hopes to escape the tyranny by moving to Australia. It ends with him telling his mother it has been a "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day." To which his mother replies, "Some days are like that. Even in Australia."