Telling children, “You need to eat your peas because children are starving in Africa” never works, does it? And yet, we still tend to use the same principle, even in our adult life – albeit not quite so obviously. Choking down a bad attitude or undesirable circumstance isn’t made any easier just because there are others who have it worse than we do.
Spending an extended amount of time in a vacation destination lends itself to observing a potpourri of people and lifestyles. Resort beaches are filled with travelers from all over the world. Accents and languages, even dress styles tend to melt into one group in a more relaxed environment. And yet, our universal internal struggles can still surface there too.
Island guests typically share a common desire for relaxation and especially, warm sunny weather.
Kauai owns relaxation. Kauai also owns green. There’s hardly a place on the island that isn’t rich with lush diverse chlorophyll-ridden beauty. It beckons the visitor to drink in moisture and rejuvenate dry, thirsty cells.
Green comes from rain, but rain doesn’t always line up with an expectation of warm weather.
We don’t want our peas, do we? Sometimes we want dessert first and no peas at all. Still, how can we complain about eating the peas when children are starving in Africa? Likewise, how can we complain about rain when we’re in paradise? And who doesn’t like green?
In a matter of minutes a sudden squall can empty a packed beach. It’s almost comical watching people run for cover like kittens from a bath, when we’re actually dressed to get wet.
I watched an elderly woman dance in the rain yesterday. She did more than choke down the peas – she made them look like the most appealing part of the meal.
She twirled, danced and raised her hands to the sky. Her tiny eyes disappeared in the folds of her smile as her face flattened upward – her open mouth seemed to savor each sweet raindrop it welcomed. I could hear a faint song. I couldn’t make out the words, but I understood the message. Her song expressed a kind of joy that seemed almost too private to witness – sacred, really. Her hands were not clutching, they were open. Receiving hands – with leathery fingers spread apart, extended for the full embrace, reaching upward.
I could hear the fork hit the plate – I wanted to eat the peas of grace, gratitude, freedom and joy she ate. Anyone truly watching her would.
The delight of her creator was visible as the skies opened in a pounding downpour. The joy of her dance seemed to lift her above the puddles. Maybe it was just me – but I’m sure I heard a choir join her exuberant song.
Heaven danced too, while a full meal was devoured with absolute pleasure.
“Jehovah, your God, is always in your midst, a mighty one who will save. He will rejoice over you with great joy; we will rest in his love; he will rejoice over you with singing” Zephaniah 3:17
When’s the last time you danced during your downpour of difficulty?