“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.” John 2:1-2
This first photograph pretty much sums up the past week in this part of Florida. Soggy, wet and drippy. But only the afternoons. We’re well and truly into the “summer pattern” of clear mornings, gathering thunderstorms right after lunchtime, and then extended periods of drenching rain, often stretching well into the evening.
The moaning and complaining about the weather is also well under way (I understand that this behavior is ubiquitous, but what do they expect – this is Florida after all…). But, personally, I happen to love the afternoon rains. They cool off the house at just about the same time the air-conditioning decides it can’t keep up anymore; plus everything – including the air itself – is, literally, washed clean.
On this particular occasion – Saturday afternoon – Rebekah and I sat on the front porch to enjoy the deluge, sipping cool drinks and feeling the freshness of the air. It doesn’t matter how busy we are, or what needs to be done, rain like this is an invitation to pause for a refreshing interlude to enjoy one-another and the moment.
Here – above right – are the clouds beginning to gather to the east for another round of storms.
This final shot is of Mia – our friends’ (David and Karin) new Golden Doodle (the same principle as a Labradoodle, but this time a Golden Retriever and Standard Poodle mix). Mia was helping host the Dale’s housewarming party.
What I enjoyed about the housewarming was the overlapping circles of community. The Dales invited church friends, new neighborhood friends, old neighborhood friends, and friends from their daughter’s basketball team. We all have a variety of circles we’re a part of, but it’s a rare occasion when they have the opportunity to combine.
So it made me wonder about the imprint we leave where we live out our lives…
The young man who won this weekend’s PGA golf tournament blurted out, “I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…” as the very first thing he said at his post-victory interview. And I honestly wondered if he had served to advance the Kingdom, or instead actually set it back by bludgeoning unsuspecting viewers via cliché?
But what about the overlapping stories and the shared experiences at the housewarming… Did we bring Jesus with us? Did our conversation, our demeanor, our listening, our presence whisper anything of Gospel? Was Jesus with us – and does God have anything to say to the world when we step out of our familiar church circles and live?
Do we tell the truth about the Gospel, simply by being?
Worth thinking about on a Monday morning. At least, that’s what came to my mind when I downloaded these pictures from the weekend.
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.