Home again. Where it rains constantly in the summer. And even when it doesn’t, the liquid sun breaks you out in a sweat immediately after showering.
Having left cool temperatures and low humidity, I felt slapped in the face by the heaviness of the air once we landed in Orlando. Not a surprise.
This is home.
It’s also the height of the tourist season. Where people swarm from all over the globe to attend our theme parks and visit our beaches.
Many are leaving temperate climates to come to the living sauna where mosquitoes, our state bird, wreak havoc on folks all summer long. Fair-skinned people especially–beware.
I exaggerate. Just a little.
The mosquitoes aren’t as big as birds.
It just feels like it.
As I sit on my back porch early in the morning, a cup of coffee in hand, I see the clouds scuttle by and begin to blossom into thunderheads. The Weather Channel says there’s a possibility of rain today. Maybe 50%.
They’re not sitting on my back porch. It will rain sometime this afternoon.
I’m reading the signs.
Signs are everywhere, from ubiquitous traffic signs reminding me of speed limits and who has the right of way to identifying structures and streets. Those are easy to understand.
When a sign says “One Way”, there’s no confusion as to which way that means. Arrows are helpful.
Signs in people aren’t always as easy to read.
There’s the person drumming her fingers on the table as I speak. Either I need to quit talking and ask her some questions or she’s got a lot on her mind. It’s an unconscious habit.
There’s the person ignoring her children in the park, allowing them to create havoc. Either she’s occupied on her cell, just needs a break from the little urchins, or is thinking heavy thoughts that facial features don’t register.
There’s the person pacing back and forth in the waiting room. Either she’s nervous about what she might be hearing from whomever she’s waiting for, or she’s heard something that’s upset her. Processing works better when moving.
With people, clarifying questions need to be asked. Some feel hesitant to go there for fear the response may be bad. Some don’t want to get involved because they’ve got enough to deal with on their own.
When caring questions are asked, they give people the chance to be real. To share burdens. To ask for help. To know they aren’t the only ones stuck in a crisis.
Many people make assumptions about God by what they believe they see around them. That He’s unkind, disinterested, or out to get us.
We’re not asking the right questions. Or looking for signs that point us to the truth.
The truth of God is written in the Bible. As a friend reminded me, you can also find wars, suffering, murder, and rape there as well. Real life revealed in its pages.
The real question? Who is God?
He’s given us all kinds of signs pointing to who He is in the Bible. And in life. Will we pursue the answers?
Or will we wait till it’s raining and we’re not prepared?
Signs only help if we pay attention.