Let the rain fall down all around.

Blessed Are Those Who Run Through The Rain

Let the rain fall down all around.

Why did I bother listening to the weatherman? I don’t need this umbrella. The sky shows no indication of rain – not even for a light shower. I continue my slow walk home.

Then the breeze picks up pace. Papers take flight. Posters rip from storefront walls like leaves from a tree. I take another look at the sky.

Oh.

The western sky is not blue. It is not white. Nor is it even the grey of a rainy day. Advancing as an army on horseback, a wall of green-black cloud rides in. The gusts of wind, flashes of lightning, and booms of thunder leave me still and insignificant. There’s nowhere to hide.

I raise my umbrella as the first droplets strike my forehead. Maybe it will be enough to keep me dry.

No chance.

Crouched under my umbrella, I rush home. But my attempt is futile. Caught by the wind, the rain falls sideways. Whenever I adjust my defenses, the wind changes direction, flipping my umbrella inside out.

At last I reach home. I’m soaked. I’m miserable.

***

left without a place
to hide away from the storm
we get rather wet

Life is like the storm sometimes. Flashes of death and violence fill our vision. Booms of fear and doubt leave us stunned. The messiness of it all pours down around us.

Like a man holding up his umbrella in a thunderstorm, we put up feeble defenses against the barrage. We try to block it out – keeping ourselves busy and closing ourselves from others.

Life still touches us though. The fear, the doubt, the violence, and the mess leave us soaked. They leave us overwhelmed. They leave us miserable.

***

So far away the lightning starts to flash
As the storm clouds show their mighty fury
Upon rooftops the rain begins to lash
As my train heads northbound in a hurry
Out of the door into the pounding rain
I run and let it fall upon my head
The floods of delight I cannot contain
In rivers of happiness I am led
Then the sky is filled with a flash of light
Six seconds pass before the thunder’s boom
With that I decide to call it a night
And reach at last the shelter of a room
I walk inside with a smile on my face
Having been wrapped in the storm’s great embrace

Taking the train to Taekwondo, I watch another storm crash down. I made it to the train before the rain started, but the chances of it abating before I reach my destination look slim.

Three stops from my destination the hail starts. Inch and a half balls of ice bounce off of the wooden platform of the station.

One stop to go. Thankfully, there’s no more hail. But the rain still pours down.

My stop. It’s still raining.

Throwing aside all pretense of staying dry, I take off running. I splash through puddles. I watch the water ripple and dance as it bounces off the wet pavement. I admire the sheets of rain illuminated by the street lights. I smile at the people who look at me as though I am crazy. I jump at the flashes of lightning that split the sky in two. I am alive. Amid the storm, I am alive.

I run in defiance. I defy the norms that demand we be serious all the time. I defy the notion that we’re not supposed to have fun or be silly as an adult. I defy the storm itself.

Reaching my destination, I’m soaked. My shirt feels like it was dipped in a tub of water. A splash of mud darkens my trousers. Yet I don’t care. That moment of joy, that short run through the rain, is the highlight of my week.

***

left without a need
to hide away from the storm
we get rather wet

Looking at all the storms and struggle in our lives, we should have no reason for joy. We should have no reason for hope. But we do.

We live. We laugh. We play. We delight in beauty. We cherish each other. We defy the storm around us.

Joy is choosing to see the fear, the doubt, and mess of life not as grounds for despair but as reasons to thrive. It’s choosing to celebrate the simple yet remarkable fact that we are alive in the chaos. It’s choosing to smile at the beauty and wonder of the storm. It’s choosing to run through the rain.

Will you run with me?

###

PHOTO: Let the rain fall down all around. Chicago.

5 thoughts on “Blessed Are Those Who Run Through The Rain”

  1. One rainy day I was walking my mother, who at the time was in her late 70’s, back to her apartment which was a couple blocks from ours. It started to downpour–cats, dogs, and everything in between–no umbrella. So we ran for it through puddles and wet grass. Amazing memory… We got to her place panting and soaked, stripped off our wet garments and threw them in a dryer while we enjoyed a cup of tea. I love these memories. 🙂

  2. Josh!
    Thanks for that! I never use an umbrella & totally feel you on getting drenched, smiling at those who look at me run by slashing, convinced I’m out of my mind…
    I believe what’s insane is passing up moments when you can live, laugh, feel & just take it all in 🙂 Let’s keep running in the rain in every sense of the word. Yes life, LIFE!!!!

  3. …I meant ‘splashing’, not slashing!! Life is good & you can make it through the rain & the sun will shine after the storm. Keep your head up 😉

  4. Life. That feeling is what we’re after, isn’t it? You made me think of this quote by Joseph Campbell:

    “People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”

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