I haven’t written for a couple of days because we shipped up to Boston to surprise our foster daughter for her thirtieth birthday. We pulled off the surprise and had a wonderful whirlwind of a celebration. We awoke this morning to the Durham version of the stormy weather covering a good part of the country, though ours has been all rain rather than snow.
In our church, this Sunday has to carry both the Palm and Passion parts of the Lenten story, and so our service begins with palm fronds and ends with Jesus going to Golgotha. To help us make the transition, Ginger and Carla changed all the vestments on the altar from purple to red and also changed their stoles. Two songs ran through my head as we moved from hosannas to heartache, if you will — and neither were hymns.
The first was Gordon Lightfoot’s “Rainy Day People,” which I will admit I have not thought of in a long, long time. The gist of the song is those who know how to appreciate a rainy day understand it’s part of life:
rainy day people always seem to know when it’s time to call
rainy day people don’t talk, they just listen till they’ve heard it all
rainy day lovers don’t lie when they tell ‘ya they’ve been down like you
rainy day people don’t mind if you’re cryin’ a tear or two
if you get lonely, all you really need is that rainy day love
rainy day people all know there’s no sorrow they can’t rise above
rainy day lovers don’t love any others, that would not be kind
rainy day people all know how it hangs on a piece of mind
The second song came out of my remembrance of the first, only because I kept thinking about our call to follow Christ being a “rainy day way” — one acquainted with sorrow and grief, which reminded me of Julie Miller’s song, “Way of Sorrow.”
you’ve been taken by the wind,
you have known the kiss of sorrow,
doors that would not take you in,
outcast and a stranger.
you have come by way of sorrow
you have come by way of tears,
but you’ll reach the destiny
meant to find you all these years,
meant to find you all these years.
The hope we know is informed, even fed, by the rain and the sorrow and all we live through on the way to the empty tomb. Here’s to walking the road together.