It’s been a week, a week that feels like a year. A week since helicopters hovered all night over our little town. A week since protesting feet marched on the highway to say, “Enough is enough.”
It’s June. The school work is petering out as the shelter-in-place orders are beginning to lift. While I feel like the heaviness in my soul and the souls of my community ought be lifting, it isn’t and it shouldn’t. Heaviness doesn’t follow the calendar year, and summer still has room for sadness.
I am thankful my soul can’t pluck up and stand up right now, because my friends who have more melanin than me can’t simply move on to the next vacation or backyard project. The grapevine is predicting some KKK demonstrations just a few towns over, and people I love are legitimately fearful for their lives.
This is the first year I am thankful for the strange San Diego reality called June gloom. Out here, our early summer is marked by a foggy haze, a result of the marine layer that gathers and stubbornly refuses to lift. Sometimes this wall of clouds won’t let the sun peak through until late in the afternoon.
As such, the weather outside is giving me permission to let the weather inside my soul be strange and stubborn.
Weather, Within & Without
The moody marine layer
Gives me the permission
To let heaviness hover in
At time, even the radiant rays
Of the closest star can’t pierce
A culmination of clouds
Carrying a load so fierce.
If June Gloom is expected,
Even in a temperate town,
Then lamenting can linger
Without holding hope down.
For as certain as the sun
Will eventually break the bleak,
God’s justice will reign in
Jesus, the king of the meek.
Sometimes, as believers, we tend to prematurely collapse tensions that are intended to instruct and encourage change. After all, we know the truth. We know who wins. We know the outcome of those three days in the borrowed grace. We know Jesus gets up, folds up the death linens clinging closely to his blood-stained skin, and walks out.
But that reality doesn’t make tombs smell less like death. And the reality that Jesus will return to usher in the perfect city doesn’t erase the tensions of our broken cities here. While we have the answer, we are asked to apply our living hope in a way that does not belittle or truncate the heaviness caused by the compound interest of a curse-ridden globe.
Our hope will rise, for our Christ shall return. But it is still right to weep and mourn and let lamenting and heaviness linger. It is right to feel the tension caused by our callousness. Our days experiencing the gloom rather than pretending like everything is sunshine and rainbows will only make the rising of the Son that much more anticipated and celebrated. One day, we will sing the following in His presence, as we stand in the fullness of peace He purchased to redeem us from the curse and its ripple effects.
“O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure…For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress; a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall, like heat in a dry place…It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Isaiah 25:1, 4 & 9