The cloud

Good morning everyone!  We are almost to Friday! Woohoo!  You can do it, dear reader!

Today’s scripture:

Exodus 19:7-9a (NRSV) 

So Moses came, summoned the elders of the people, and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. The people all answered as one: “Everything that the Lord has spoken we will do.” Moses reported the words of the people to the LordThen the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, in order that the people may hear when I speak with you and so trust you ever after.”

As someone who grew up in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, I know what dense clouds look like.  They usually hold quite a bit of rain. I remember when my dad taught me to recognize if it was raining elsewhere in the valley by looking at the clouds. I remember being so fascinated that even if you were standing where it wasn’t raining you could see the rain far off.  And it wouldn’t look like rain. It looked like a fog over there.  The clouds looked like they were actually dripping. This site actually comforts me in a lot of ways.

I am that weird Oregonian that doesn’t get depressed when it rains, I actually feel this deep comfort in my bones.  Something is right in the world when the world gets watered.  We have had a lot of sun this winter.  I love the feel of it on my skin but it worries we as well. Something is off when the world hasn’t been watered in a while. I worry about our systems and our earth.

I love the look of when dark clouds are rolling in as well.

There is something ominous that makes me want to run back inside, grab a hot beverage and a good book and stay there for a while. There is a twinge of fear about what will be but also a little twinge of excitement that it is so dark out there.

God tells Moses that God will now speak through a dense cloud so that the people may believe the communication.  I want to know what that dense cloud looks like and feels like.  What a privilege to have God come along in this wilderness adventure and represented by nature but so clearly represented!  This makes me reconsider all along if God has been showing up in those drippy clouds on the horizon that we get comfy with in the valley.  In these days of sun then, where does God show up?

At this point in my life, there are many variables on the table, I am almost jealous that God tells Moses that in their time of discernment and wandering, God will show up so visibly.  I yearn for God to show up so visibly.  I would love my own personal God cloud to walk alongside me and talk with me step by step so audibly that everyone could hear.

“Courtney, what is that pillar of a cloud next to you?”
“Oh, no big deal, just my friend, God.”

Would God go to events with me and run next to me to exercise or would the cloud just appear when I needed a chat?  Would God hang out with my friends and me?  Or would God just be a one on one kind of cloud?

I don’t have that kind of luxury in the cloud sense but I know that God is moving even if I don’t have the clarity.  I know that God will show up next to me but I have to be ready to recognize the form.  Shouldn’t I be prepared for that?

Yesterday at the end of our young adult clergy retreat, the facilitator had us join in to tell the story of communion. It was a powerful experience.  At one point she opened up the time to name those who have been God in flesh. We named all sorts of people who have walked alongside us for a time who have been God in flesh…living, breathing, talking, cheering, God. Then she said, “And we sit here in humble audacity because there are others who would name us.” Whoa.  I sit in humble audacity this morning just thinking about it.  Maybe we each become a cloud and see other clouds. We don’t actually just need the cloud to remember that God is walking.

What does God alongside you look like? Something to ponder for today.

PS. I am sitting in humble audacity because I got to be on OPB yesterday. 🙂 Thanks for listening to me on the radio talk about homelessness.

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