Secretly, it arrived in the night. Well, as
secretive as a thunderstorm can. At first, there was
no loud boom or a bright flash of light. There was
no steady rhythm of rainfall either. Outside my
window the world was settling into the darkness.
What got me to notice the falling droplets of water
from the high heavens was it’s refreshing smell.
Slowly my living room began filling with the aroma
of precipitation. Because I couldn’t hear or see
signs of a storm, I rose to my feet and looked out
the window. My discovery was the cobble stone street
reflecting the rays from the street lamps. The rust
colored bricks were ablaze in an artificial
radiance, just as they did in the winter: slick.
Standing on the boulevard, I saw the first flash of
energy in the sky off in the distance. A low rumble,
similar to that of Silas when he is annoyed with
Chloe’s antics to get him to play, came shortly
after. It was a matter of time before the
tranquility of the rain would be disrupted by the
storm the westward winds would usher in.
Silence has substance and perhaps a smell, too. In
the gentle descent of the rain I was reminded of the
way things stir by night. How the wind brought in a
fragrance that flooded my memory with feelings of
happiness and joy. Suddenly my whole being was
saturated with a reminder of God’s often-unseen
grace and love. Between the raindrops emerged this
Sophia, that is her name to many. Others call her
“Spirit.” Whatever title and gender you ascribe, the
Wisdom of God comes forth, reaching from end to end
mightily, but gently. This Wisdom, Sophia, wills to
be also the unseen pivot of all nature, the center
and significance of all the light that is in all and
for all: mercy and love. This promise, in any storm,
can usher us to sweet sleep.
“[Sunshine] burns in the sky like the Face of God,
but we do not know his countenance as terrible.” God speaks to us
gently in ten thousand things, in which God’s light is one fullness
and one Wisdom. On that couch, seduced by that smell, love cornered
me and surrounded me with peace without having to look very far or
very hard or do anything special. My spirit was awakened.
Summoning me in the sweet, unforeseen fragrance of rain was a Gift
of our Creator’s thought and art within me, speaking as Sophia. That
is how God speaks though, isn’t it? God’s Wisdom, cries out to all
who will hear and cries out particularly to the little, to the
scared and the helpless. Indeed, O blessed, Silent One, who speaks
everywhere! Out of the silence Light is spoken…
[Adam Quine, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Lincoln]