As I write this, it’s raining. The clouds are literally falling apart. The matter that makes up clouds – water vapor – is collecting and falling down upon us. Read that again; the stuff that makes up clouds is actually falling apart.
Now, I don’t claim to be a scientist, but I do know that for rain to fall, there’s a certain level of pressure that’s needed, and when that pressure builds, and when the conditions are just right, then rain falls from the sky.
So, if that’s what makes clouds “fall apart” – pressure, and just the right conditions – I had to wonder this morning as the rain hit my face, how much is our society like the rain? How much are we like the rain?
All around us, pressure has been mounting. First, it was the initial response to the coronavirus back in the spring. Then, it was responses to racial injustice. By that time, it was summer, and pressure only increased as we mourned what we’d miss out on in the coming months. Now? Well, now it’s the middle of July, and school districts are flying to craft Return to Learn plans.
There’s no question about it. The pressure on us, on our leaders, on our teachers, on our parents, on our society, and on each one of us, has been mounting, consistently, for months. Now, it might seem as though things are falling apart. Summer plans have changed. The school year is uncertain. Expectations for our families, and our children, have fallen short or been outright abandoned. Hopes for our country, or even our community, might seem to be shattered. That doesn’t even begin to acknowledge how we, ourselves, might feel as though we’re falling apart at the seams from all the pressure that’s been applied to us and those we love, lately.
In short, it might seem as though things are falling apart. Nature will back you up, and tell you, things do fall apart, but, nature will also tell you that once things fall apart, something new takes shape. Something is born from what was once just a bunch of pieces, and something comes to life from those water droplets that fall from the sky.
Right now, with everything going on, it might seem as though some things are falling apart around us, and even within us. But my hope? And my prayer? It’s that something new will spring forth from what seems to be falling apart. We might not know exactly what that “something new” will be. It might take a little bit of patience, but I do believe that even at such a time as this, something new is taking shape. It might be in a different shape than it was previously, and it might not be what we expected, but from all that seems to be falling apart at the seams, something will arise. From death, will come life.
So right now, acknowledge what seems to be falling apart. Embrace that reality and the loss that comes along with it, but then, look up with me. Look up to the clouds, and see how what falls apart actually brings life, and then, look around with me. Look around to your community, and see how something new just might be taking shape.