Today was my heavy workout in the park. During the course of my efforts, storm clouds rolled in from the north. I didn’t have access to radar imagery so I could only guess. I decided to stay the course and try to finish. Getting wet from a little rain is no big deal; I was soon dripping perspiration anyway.
By the time I finished the last exercise at the last station, it looked like I needed to hurry. Despite the soreness in my legs, I started pushing the pedals harder than normal. Less than a quarter-mile out, it started to rain — big drops. I knew I had just a few blocks to go to find shelter. And thank the Lord there was very little traffic on the cross street to the pavilion at Kiwanis Park.
I managed to roll up under the vacant pavilion roof just after the rain began in earnest. First it was blowing from the north. After a little while it slacked off just a bit. I checked and looked at the clouds. Nope, just a pause, not the end. Then the wind turned around from the south and it came back in buckets. It was a really nice flooding rain, with water creeping across the floor. The temperature dropped significantly.
Having already been pretty wet, the stiff wind chilled me just a little. Of course, it was quite bearable, given the punishing heat we’ve had in the past week or so. The rain bore down in waves lasting about five minutes each with high winds surging to match. The winds tore at trees and pulled off bits of branches and leaves. One substantial end of a limb cartwheeled down the street with the foliage acting as a sail to catch wind. Meanwhile, lightning struck all over the place.
I spent at least a half hour there watching the rain run off the roof in heavy gushes that might have knocked me down had I stood under them. I’ve always loved storms, and this was a particularly good way to watch one up close and personal with just a thin margin of safety. The roof was expansive enough to offer protection from the driving torrents regardless of wind direction, though I had to move when the wind shifted.
It made me wonder about the homeless I had seen hanging out in the cluster of parks through which I had wandered this morning. There were plenty of pavilions of various sizes, but there were plenty more of these people around the area who didn’t haunt the parks. Not in the sense of deeply burdened over their sorrows; if you spoke with them as I do quite often, you’d know. The ones around here will accept small gifts, but they have already had a bellyful of abusive handling from the official support system. The ones around here an independent bunch.
I didn’t lose anything from the storm. It was a moment I needed to reflect on my God and His provision. With all the noise from the storm in a vacant pavilion, it was easy to talk out loud with Him. It was easier to hear His response in my heart.