Umbrella: Revisiting An Old Journal Entry

Written by Gregory Byerline on June 8, 2015 at 9:43 pm
Filed under Inspiration • Tags: , , , , ,

Today it rained. As I walked across the parking lot, memories of another rainy day back in Fall 2001 returned with the wind. Those were pre-blog days, yet the urge to write consumed me, and here’s what I wrote that day. Later that year, I printed a mini-poster for family and friends (pictured below; click to enlarge).

Revisiting it tonight feels like it happened just yesterday. Or today, even. Good to know some things never change. Just thought I’d share again here. Perhaps you too will find a helpful reminder.



Umbrella by Gregory ByerlineOutside a trendy natural food market (Wild Oats Market, for those who remember the pre-Whole Foods days), I munch on an organic lunch that satisfies the palette and somewhat reaffirms the idea of eating well. These reflections hearken back to an hour or so before this healthy helping. I started my car only to remember that I, rather absent-mindedly, forgot my reading materials for today’s solitary satiating. The sky is blue. I find myself in my car again…mere minutes later…with reading material in hand and raindrops speckling my Old Navy-special shirt. Sky still blue, but now it’s raining. How odd.

Fast forward to this moment. Seated at a patio table with a panoramic view of parking lots filled with every car imaginable…from a rusty blue VW bus to a sleek, black Lexus SUV…I dive into my massive slice of “healthy” pizza and a recyclable cup of soup du jour. The sky grays then soaks this panorama with rain. Shoppers scurry across the pavement wondering why they could possibly need an umbrella on a sunny, blue-sky day. It’s rather amusing. “Geez. It’s only water,” I chuckle. Sure, that’s easy for me to say, tucked nicely under a covered patio, sheltered from the elements.

Something about today’s rain stirred my soul to move the pen. Is it the years of repressed reflections running over? Is it my natural smugness to the nouveauriche as they run in the rain? Only God knows. At times I wish I knew my heart so well, but then again, maybe I’d be frightened out of my mind.

Hey, lady, the rain stopped; put down your umbrella.

In this brief moment in time, rain clouds cooled the air and washed it clean, producing that familiar aroma after a steady Spring rain.

Such diversity of people is rarely seen in this upper-middle-class, vanilla part of town. In a sweeping glance, you can see white collar and blue collar, soccer moms and earth mommas, teens and seniors, bathed and un-bathed, western and eastern, straight and non-straight, bearded and clean-shaven, just and unjust. And the rain is falling (again) on all of them, er, us. I’m in there somewhere.

In church lingo, we say that God “pours” His blessings on us….that He “showers” us with His love. Much like this rain that waters the earth that grows the grain that feeds the just and the unjust. Sadly, though, there’s life-giving water soaking the lifeless streets and parking lots where man and auto trample it with no regard. There’s so much water to make it “OK,” I guess. Even more sad.

Yet that’s how we treat God’s blessings and love. We are so inundated with God’s blessing and love that we’ve become familiar. This familiarity has bred contempt. Made to wonder, we’re prone to wander. Yes, we. All of us. You. Me. Them. The Just. And the Unjust. Only a God as big as Jehovah God would generate such grace and love and blessing as this–even when He knows we’ll likely disregard it. Only Jehovah God would shower the world with boundless love even though He knows we’ll walk through life under an umbrella of self.

I’ll remember this the next time I see an umbrella blown outward by a strong, swirling wind. Maybe that’s God’s way of breaking through our self, as if to say “I’m gonna love you and bless you whether you want Me to or not!” Only Jehovah God.

My soup is gone, and the pizza is now cold. What a lunch.

Hey, lady! It’s raining again; put down your umbrella!




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