The Dancing Puritan

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Clouds and Shadows

Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, 'I have no pleasure in them'; before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain (Ecclesiastes 12:1-2).

The young boy seldom thinks much about clouds and shadows. His eyes are fresh and alive but there are some things that he cannot see. He does notice, way off in the distance, a slight discoloration on the horizon.Yet beneath a deep blue sky and crystal clear vision he dreams, runs, plays, explores, and falls asleep.

She walks down the aisle where he is waiting. Before God and man they make their pledge. A few years later a boy and girl are running through the yard. He notices that the discoloration on the horizon has darkened a bit and has moved an inch closer. He wonders for a moment about the change in color but turns to push his little girl in her swing and then to kiss his lovely young wife.

It is his birthday. He is older but still retains much of the vigor of his youth. Laughter fills the room as his friends recount childhood, college, and marriage. It is a day to be remembered. As he waves goodbye to his friends, he notices a pain in his back. He rubs the pain, sits down, and recounts with his wife the events of the day. He glances out of a window and notices what he imagines is a cloud, still far off in the distance.

Fifty years have past. The brown hair is overcome with gray. He still runs, plays, and wrestles with his children. There are a few lines on his face but he feels good. He can't see quite as well. And yet, strangely, he can see some things better than ever before. Clouds are forming, still some miles away, and a shadow appears on the ground in the distance. His vision is clear. He moves his head from side to side. His neck feels tight, his legs are sore, and he sits down.

 Twenty-five years come-and-go in a moment. The winter winds blow. It is cold outside. The leaves have all fallen. It may snow before the day is over. The clouds will soon drape the sky. The sun is hidden from view. The man is tired. He goes to bed early. She holds his hand, touches his face, and kisses his lips. There is a brief burst of thunder before the winter storm. The winds calm, the snow gently falls, and a shadow envelopes the house. He closes his eyes. The clouds have come. Now he can see.