Protected

I was on my way to college with what I think was the final project of my undergraduate in elementary education (besides my portfolio).  It’s funny, I don’t even remember what it was now, only that I think I had it in a plastic folder resting in the passenger seat of my car.  It is a big deal for me to have anything in a plastic folder.  And it is a big deal for whatever it is not to be scattered on the floorboard of my car.

I had a sense of turning in this “last thing” before my beautiful portfolio (I was in the last year of hard copy portfolios at that school).

–And I felt I had done a good job with whatever it was.  I was proud of it.

And just about the time I pulled into the parking lot of the school, it began to pour down rain.

Not just like “rain”.  Like giants in the sky watering their flowers with hoses as big around as silos.  Almost.

Now here was a predicament.  I didn’t live close to the college.  I didn’t want to turn around and come back another day.  And I have never been a particularly (or even unparticularly) good parking spot picker, so I was only about, oh, 8 miles or so from the building.

What was I going to do?  I could wait in the car for the rain to stop.  But from the looks of it, this rain wasn’t stopping anytime soon.  I, of course, had no umbrella (of course).  I have no idea how many umbrellas I actually own, only that they are never around when I need them.  They’re not like Lassie, let me tell you.

I don’t like getting wet, unless I already look bad and that way will think it’s because of the rain.  So my usual strategy when getting wet is to place my jacket or coat entirely over my head, thus protecting my hair and face, never mind that I am probably in a t-shirt and it’s probably only 10 or 20 degrees below zero.  But at least my hair doesn’t get wet.

I cover my hair in such a way that I can pretty much not see out.  I walk through parking lots this way and have done so for years, and would you believe I haven’t been hit, yet?  I probably catch people’s attention because I look like a walking sack.

But that day, I didn’t do my usual “walking sack” routine.  Instead, I had a priority that took place over even getting my hair and face wet: my big-deal-plastic-folder project.

I looked at that plastic folder, and I thought about what I could do.

I decided to place the folder under my shirt and wear my jacket (I did actually have a jacket that day).  And then I just had to commit.  I took a last look at the ocean pouring down from the sky (a dolphin could have been swimming in it) and then I climbed out of the car–carefully.  I did not want to get my work wet and, with an 8-mile journey to the actual building, it wasn’t as though I needed to worry about rushing.

Some six hours (or minutes) later, I got to the right building and went inside.  I looked like somebody had turned a kiddie pool over on my head (almost).

I was apprehensive about my work.  What had happened to my work?  What if it had gotten soaking wet?

I had this sick feeling as I pulled it out from under my shirt.  To my shock, as if by optical illusion, it was dry.  Nothing had happened to it.  Happily, I walked to my professors who, well, saw immediately that my project looked a great deal better than me.

You know, when it comes to pouring down rain, we show what matters to us most.  What we protect when danger comes . . that’s us telling where our priority, our treasure, our dream really is.

Isaiah 53 tells us who Jesus really is.  When the worst rain in the history of the earth came down, Isaiah tells us that Jesus “carried our sorrows” (from verse 4, ESV).  When He could have protected Himself–His dignity, His well-being, His body, His mind, His soul, His strength–He chose to protect us.  He put us under His coat and carried us to safety.

It makes me wonder . . do I treat Jesus that way?  Do I protect His honor during conversations . . jokes . . and “entertainment”?  Or is what I try to hide under my jacket . . something else?

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  (Jesus, Matthew 6:21, ESV)

If we live, we live to the Lord: if we die, we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. (Weymouth NT)

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See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.

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