After Rain

It doesn’t rain much here, not enough they say. But after it does, the earth shimmers and shines with the glory of God. The greens and blues are brilliant. The roses, fuschias, and camellias glisten. The clouds billow and scud across the ether. The ocean returns to a place of tranquility. I am awe struck.

An older translation of the Hebrew Scripture describes the model of a just, spiritual leader as having the qualities of  morning after rain.

He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God, and he shall be as the light of the morning when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds, as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. (2 Samuel 23;3-4, KJV)

I looked out this morning on the grass after the rain. All my senses were in play, not only my vision. I entered a world of clarity, of lightness, of freshness. Along with those sensations came a hope for the day and the season, that what transpired in them would have a freedom, a “lightness of being.”

As I reflected on leadership in our world, especially in the Church, I longed for those leaders who fit the description: clear enough to be transparent, light enough to reflect the glory of God, with fresh perspectives that bring the people of God to Hope, not just rehearse what is wrong or hash out strategies against competing interests. I would love to follow someone in the community of faith who could just say “This is who I am, and what I have received from the Spirit, and I offer it beside the all the other offerings that are being envisioned, so that we can  discern together where God would lead us.” What freedom and energy could be set loose!

So I look at my own locations for leadership and how I inhabit them. In preparation for meetings, am I open enough to the fresh showers of the Spirit that I can move with the flow as it comes? Or do I need to craft carefully each movement so that my agenda is met? Is my trust grounded in the Presence of the Holy One living in me and in the community so that I can say strongly my truth and still listen for the truths of the other? Do I carry myself with hope in believing that with Christ there are no final defeats, no matter what confronts us? And in my leadership, can I believe deeply that this is not about me, but about what the Spirit is doing around and in and between the people who are followers of the Way ?

I have loved the fact that we have had rain, which we need so badly. I am even more delighted in the morning after because it brings promise of a new day, of hope and of the Sun who rises with healing it its wings. I am savoring this day!

Invitations on the Journey: Keep Moving
Advent Blue 3: Longing for Joy
Walking the Light of Holy Week.
Two Hopes for Advent: Books that Inspire
About Elizabeth Nordquist

Elizabeth Nordquist is a Presbyterian pastor, teacher, and spiritual director who writes on women's issues, spirituality and Scripture, and what is happening in the world--hers, her neighborhood, the Church and the world. Each day she looks for ways in which the Spirit is moving in and around her.

  • dr ngo

    If you don’t know Randall Thompson’s setting of this text (“The Last Words of David”) rush out and acquire it immediately! (Or come to Durham, hang out with us awhile, and I’m sure the Duke Chapel Choir will sing it again, probably in the commencement season.)

  • Aletheia Schmidt

    Wow. Thanks so much for this post. What incredible insight written with such beauty. In my own journey right now, the Lord and I are talking about light–how the Lord illuminates at just the right time, how light brings about color, clarity. [I bet you are a FANTASTIC S.D.] Blessings–Aletheia

  • karen

    Thank you, I will remember this often. Light, Clarity, and freshness as I lead…. always following first the lead of the Holy Spirit. Beautiful!