God's Clouds

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Genesis 9:13 – I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. (NRSV)

Matthew 17:5 – While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, "This is my son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him." (NRSV)

I have always loved clouds. As a child, I would lie on my back in the grass, gaze into the heavens, and watch the cloud parade. How many wonderful things my imagination was able to see there: a whole series of animals, landscapes, and even some interestingly shaped people! One of my biggest thrills was to watch rolling clouds come together as if they were waves coming to shore, just waiting to take me out to sea. As I loved to swim, this was a very happy picture.

Later, through Sunday School, I came to realize how closely God was associated with the clouds. This was an exciting discovery: that God was there, that this was a sign of God's presence, and that I could look and almost see God. As I grew older, I continued to be a cloud watcher, and I am to this day, although not on my back on the grass any more! I have tried to discover God in the clouds all along.

Have you seen God smile? I think I have! One wonderful day this past spring I saw a remarkable cloud formation:

    Such lighting
    I have never seen
    on any stage before …
    Each cloud blazed radiantly,
    tinged with tans, light browns
    pale yellows, oranges and afire with
    an inner deep rich gold
    enfolding all the rest,
    all silhouetted against the azure sky.
    The light cast,
    jutted in all directions
    with the constant pinwheeling
    and somersaulting of the clouds.
    The brilliant gold,
    blazing from an inner fire,
    radiated outward
    touching all along its way,
    bathing all around
    in unequaled brilliance.

    It was here I discovered
    the reflection of God's glory …
    for only God
    could be the master painter
    of all this.
    The sun-tipped clouds
    performing their majestic dance
    could only be God's glory
    made visible for all to see.
    It could be mistaken
    for nothing else!
    In my inner heart,
    I do believe
    God wanted us to see
    this resplendent show
    as a reminder to all
    of God's creation and recreation,
    and that God thinks that it is good.
    Yes, God smiled that day
    for any who would see.

Prayer: Holy One, Creator of our wonderful world, help us to find your presence wherever we are as we enjoy your creation. May we celebrate all life, with you at its center. May we look to the future knowing that you are beyond us, in the clouds, in the heavens, just as surely as you are close to us, beside us and within us, guiding us to a better life. We pray that you will continue to be with us in the painful valleys of this time. May we honour your commitment to all that you have made and share in your bounty and in your love. I pray this in Christ's name. Amen.

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Patricia Glore

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