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Thursday, 28 January 2010 22:42
It has rained on and off, for nearly a week in Arizona. We have had rainfall equal to the amount we would normally get in an entire year. So, the idea of a rainy day has been at the front of my mind.

Years ago (many years ago) I attended a series of personal development seminars. It was during a time of searching, of seeking answers for and direction in my life. It was during the days that I didn’t think that ‘church’ had any answers for me. Silly as that seems now, I’m grateful for all the experiences that have brought me to this place in my life.

It was during the final morning of one of the retreats I attended that we entered to find our breakfast tables set in a large open square. We took our seats and after our meal was finished the retreat leader called our attention to the neatly wrapped set of note cards and large envelope with our name printed on it at each of our places. There was also a single piece of stationery and matching envelope, again with our name printed on it. The leader instructed us to open the note cards and (in silence) write a brief note of affirmation to each of the participants. It was a delightful exercise to say something “nice” to everyone. And, I actually was astonished at how easy it was to do so, even for those people whom I didn’t actually enjoy.  (Come on - only Will Rogers never met a man he didn’t like) When finished we delivered them to each other’s large envelopes. It was reminiscent of childhood Valentines Day school parties -  only better -  because EVERYONE - got something!!

Then we were instructed to take our piece of stationery and write one more note of affirmation. Smugly, I was certain this note was to go to our ‘buddies’ for the weekend. Not so. This was to be a note to ourselves - YIKES. We were told to write only the good stuff we had learned or realized about ourselves over the retreat weekend. We may have come to decisions about changes to be made in our lives but, those were not to be a part of our “note to self”. Rather, we were to focus solely on the positive.

Amazingly this was a much more challenging task than the other notes had been. It seemed almost silly to write a note to myself, particularly when the retreat leader suggested that this be a “love note to self”. Why was it easier to write nice things to other people? Why is it easier to tell someone else that you love them and not to say those same words to the person I see in the mirror?

Like it or not, that was the instruction and I could at least mellow myself with being compliant. So I began to write, and too weep. I was not the only one. This was an emotional task for everyone!

When our note was completed we were instructed to put it into the small envelope. Then we were to place a small envelope into the larger one with our other notes and seal it shut.

WAIT - WAIT - WAIT. I want to read what other people said about me. I like to hear/read nice things.

Then came our final instruction: put this envelope in a safe place. Knowing that it contains messages of love -  leave it stored until -  you have a ‘rainy day’ and need them.

Rainy days don’t always involve precipitation. The emotional blues may come when the sky is perfectly clear. No matter our joy, clarity or personal strength, there may be a point of personal struggle or low. On these kinds of rainy days we were invited to open our envelopes and read affirmations. They just might be the gift we need at the moment.

I still have one envelope (I attended  retreat twice). A couple of days ago, when the weatherman said “it’s another rainy day” I thought about that envelope for the first time in a long time. And I smiled.

That’s a long story to bring me to this point: the Bible has been called a love letter from God to His people. A love letter for us to open, read and cherish. Every day, whether it is a “good” day or a “bad” one, the love letter is available to us. Open it and revel in it. Wrestle with the tough parts, it’s okay! God can handle it. Cherish the words that comfort you, then cherish even more those which inspire and compel you forward in God’s name. Let God’s Holy Spirit direct you and illuminate His word.

It’s just a little like a rainy day letter -  just not kept in a drawer unopened. And, if that’s where you find your Bible now - then get it out!

Loving life and living in the word,

Still Gimpy by Grace ... And ... Well in the Lord
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