When I was a kid we used to summer on my grandmother's island in Georgian Bay, Ontario. It was a beautiful place, all rocks and moss and stunted trees deformed by the west wind. There was a beach of garnet red sand and little wooden cabins with chemical toilets. (Read buckets filled with pine sol).
On many summer afternoons, storms would roll in from across the lake. We could see them coming from miles away, fierce gray bands moving ever closer. The air would crackle with electricity. Lightening would start to flash. Once we saw a whole bank of clouds rolling sideways like an ocean wave in the sky. And one year a tornado hit like a freight train and knocked down a third of the trees on the island.
The weather could be frightening. But it was also thrilling. We would stand, as kids, in the pouring rain, laughing when the hail drove us back inside... or daring each other to jump in the lake in the middle of the downpours, getting called back out by our concerned parents when the lightening got too close.
My conversion to Catholicism has been a little like that. A summer storm in the midst of what is usually a peaceful spiritual landscape. I am both excited, thrilled, and a little afraid. I stood and watched the spiritual storm coming from miles away... and as it got closer, there were moments when I wanted to run in fear, but more moments when I wanted to stand in the pouring rain and sing and shout for joy. Laughing and splashing and shouting for joy.
You have come into my life like a storm. I am soaked to the bone. Sometimes I want to run and hide. But mostly I want to shout for joy.