Pass the Peas Please

dancing in rain


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?




20 replies on “Pass the Peas Please”

  1. Not gonna lie: I think I’ve been stalled, for many months, during a downpour of difficulty…just wanting to pull the covers over my head. But in a recent unexpected moment – a surprise, really – the Holy Spirit broke through a hard shell of protectiveness around my heart. Though painful, it was equally freeing.

    I’m not doing a full-on dance, yet. Just a bit of toe-tapping, swaying, and the occasional off-beat shuffle. But the rhythm of gratitude is capturing my heart and I sense a rising joy to enjoy some peas.

    1. I’m pretty sure anyone reading your comment will agree with me that it is filled with images of a beautiful dance. It’s easy to see your dance partner too – in perfect step with each toe-tap and sway. Keep dancing, friend. You are stunningly beautiful, more beautiful than ever!

  2. I am smiling broadly, Pat. You’ve, once again, hit the proverbial nail….you said very eloquently something I’ve been feebly (but annoyingly I’m sure) voicing in the midst of our CA drought. We, it seems, are not ‘allowed’ to enjoy the spectacular weather with which we have been blessed. We are, instead, ‘supposed’ to be dour and bemoan our lack of rain. I choose, given no control, to enjoy the peas AND the dessert each as they are served. Thank you for painting such beautiful scenes!

    1. You’re so right! We miss the moments of beauty we’ve been given right now by assuming our remorseful attitude will somehow bring an end to the drought and give us reason to celebrate – later/then. We are certainly funny creatures, aren’t we Conni. Yes, peas AND dessert – a complete diet.

  3. Oh how I want to face my trials in a way that is honoring to the Lord and uplifting to others watching me go through them like the woman in your story!! It makes me think of James 1:2 “Consider it ALL joy.when you face trials” and that means ANY kind of trial. I want to be a dancer ALL the time. Nicely written, Pat.

    1. I love James 1:2 too, Liz. Sometimes The Message just nails the intent so colorfully. It says, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way”. Isn’t that great!

  4. I saw your post on facebook and just love it. I think you described my grandmother. I can totally see her doing this very thing! She used to embarrass all of us sometimes, but now as we’ve grown older, we realize she’s our hero. She knows how to live life to the fullest. She’s an example of genuine joy. I plan to share this post with my siblings!!

    1. You and your siblings are so blessed to have a grandma like that! She’s the best kind of teacher. Maybe she secretly took a trip to Kauai to dance for me – you never know. Thanks for sharing your story, Kristin.

  5. I’ve had to do a fair amount of dancing during difficulty in my lifetime. My attitude and perspective get stabilized when I am looking UPWARD, for sure. I’d like to think heaven is dancing along with me too.
    Nicely written Pat.

    1. You’re right, Eucharisteo – giving thanks to God in the good and in the hard times – at ALL times! Praising and thanking God with you.

  6. Strange you are writing about peas. I just read an article about how peas actually lift our face because of their components in them, The article explained it in a scientific way that I didn’t care to analyze and figure out, I just went to the store and started eating my peas! More collagen please in my peas, LOL! Actually, I didn’t want to work today, dreaded it fiercely, but when I got there I started singing an old familiar hymn, I sang it all day and had a wonderful time at work ministering to many, God has it all in control,we just need to praise, sing, and have a light heart knowing he’s got us in his grip! Good post Pat, once again!

    1. Well who knew – peas for the face, we’ll all be eating them now!!
      Bless your faithful heart, Jeannie. Glad your day was lifted by your song yesterday. He IS faithful. Thanks for sharing.

  7. This brought back memories of our dear friend Carol Ann who I watched dance with her Savior thru many hard days-when she talked about her dance with The Lord her face would be filled with so much JOY-Dance with Jesus she would say-He knows all the steps-thanks Pat

    1. Oh my – yes, Carol Ann was the most beautiful dancer I know. Her life made me crave what she had even during her painful fight with cancer. I remember her saying Jesus was so close to her she could feel the breath of his love on her cheek.
      Thanks for the sweet memory of our dear friend, Kim. Blessings to you!

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