I know I talked about this once before. But do you know what else the Divine Mercy feels like?
Picture this. There has been a heat wave in the Ohio Valley. We’ve had weather in the 90s with a head index of 105 for days. It didn’t get below 80 at night. The grass is brittle brown paper; the zucchini plants are dead. I spent most of every day last week an anchoress cloistered in the only downstairs room with a powerful air conditioner, I kept the upstairs bedroom closed like a meat freezer so the window air conditioner would keep it habitable at night, and it still couldn’t prevent the heat-related symptoms of my autoimmune illnesses from kicking up. They’ve been getting worse and worse. I almost didn’t get to Divine Liturgy this Sunday and when I did, I wasn’t able to stand up for most of it.
Yesterday I was especially foolish and attempted to run errands, because I couldn’t stand to be in the house any longer. I missed the convenient bus and had to walk three long blocks in the afternoon heat. I paid for it. Early this morning I woke up with every crazy fibro symptom blaring like a middle school brass band recital. Stomach in stabby agony, hernia pinching like crab claws, feet a nail bed of pins and needles, hands sandy and numb, mouth full of smooth swollen gingivitis-y patches, a killer anxiety attack over nothing. I gulped down my stomach medicine with lukewarm Powerade that turned out to be rancid. I hobbled downstairs on two ankles swollen into pirate wooden legs. I tried to write something witty here on Patheos but found I couldn’t sit up. I stumbled back upstairs to bed.As I lay in bed, worrying, the rain started.
I don’t understand people who dislike thunderstorms. I don’t even understand my younger self who feared thunderstorms, or anyone who thinks of thunderstorms as Divine punishment. Thunderstorms are mercy. Thunderstorms are grace and balm. The rainfall and the constant rumbling lulled me to sleep. I slept til Noon, dreaming vivid fever dreams. I woke up with a clear head and rapidly clearing symptoms. I found that the temperature had gone down to a miraculous seventy-two degrees, and the cool rain was still falling.
My nerve symptoms are dying down already. It’s going to stay in the low eighties for several days so they may stay down.
I stumbled out to praise God in the garden, and found that the sun had ripened the tomatoes, and one little patch of the zucchini was still alive and producing.
That’s what the Divine Mercy feels like. If you got shot through with one of those red or white rays, it would feel exactly like that.
But then again, I think we are always getting shot through with those rays; it’s only now and then that we feel it. In Heaven we will feel it clearly, without needing the drought for contrast. For some of us it will feel like rain.
(Image via Wikimedia Commons)