Travelogue II: Clouds & Sun

If not for the sun, we would not see the clouds. Yet, when skies are overcast, our vision is limited to the clouds that cover the sky and the gloom and darkness. We forget that the sun is nevertheless shining beyond the clouds, and that indeed, without the sun’s illumination, we would not even be seeing the clouds.

When I see clouds, do I dwell on them, limited to what they seem to signify? Or can I go beyond and realize that my seeing the clouds is actually an assurance of the sun’s presence though I cannot see it?

There are clouds ‘out there’ as well as ‘in here’. Clouds ‘out there’ are what I see around me; the events and circumstances that happen to me. In this world it often seems that gladness and sadness are mutually exclusive. But if I penetrate the clouds that come, perhaps I will see the good in the bad, and find joy even in sorrow. Why should I get bogged down by the clouds? I know that a gust of wind could well part them and let the sunlight through again. Just because I don’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there. Can I trust in what I cannot see?

The clouds ‘in here’ are trickier to deal with. These are the flaws, the things that cloud my soul. I am afraid to see them, to acknowledge their presence, because I wish only to see clear blue skies within me. It is true, that we all find the strength to grow and work on our weaknesses from the good that we find in ourselves. But being afraid of seeing the clouds in my soul gives me a perspective that is just as flawed as a perspective that presents only brokenness and no goodness.

Now, if clouds are only visible because of the sun’s presence and light, then I should rejoice when I see the clouds in my soul! Why? Because my ability to see the clouds is an assurance of the sun within me. Knowing this means I should not be overwhelmed by the presence of clouds. If I see the clouds for what they are, I will not fear them. I will find a way to let them dissipate.

What is the sun? Ultimately, it is God’s love within me. It is goodness, beauty, and strength. Learning to see beyond the clouds requires wisdom. Trusting in what I cannot see… that requires faith.

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Today’s skies seem so fitting to this particular reflection. Seems funny to only realize now that the clouds I see are actually a reminder of the constant presence of what lies yonder…

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