The news all around the Puget Sound centered around Stormageddon – two powerful storms approaching the Pacific Northwest and guaranteeing rain and wind that would come to close to hurricane strength. Warnings to stock up on food and water, candles, fresh batteries for flashlights were featured on all newscasts. This would be a storm for the books, one that would rival or be greater than the Columbus Day storm of 1962.
And of course, the brunt of the storm was to hit October 15, the same day as our made Gathering. As schools and colleges cancelled events, the made team prayerfully consider cancelling. But it was decided to move forward with our Gathering that had been planned for months, with a contingency plan in place should the storm become too great forcing us to end early.
Just as the impending storm had the ability to cause distraction from normal activities, so can the circumstances of our life. We can easily become so over scheduled and overwhelmed that we go into high gear to prepare and fix and control whatever may come into our lives.
When the disciples were in the midst of a busy season of ministry Jesus told them to come away with Him to a solitary place. Had I been a disciple my response to His invitation would have been, “wait, I will come but first I need to – fill in the blank – then I will take time away with you.” And yet, Jesus calls his Beloved daughters to stop now and come. He knows that even in the midst of busy seasons of life, what we need most is to come away to a solitary place.
And that is what our made Gatherings are intended to be – an opportunity to come away to a solitary place – to step out of the storms of life and enter into a place of peace, community, creativity and time with our Creator. On this day, despite the promised storms, we gathered together to reflect on what it means to live as God’s Beloved. We entered into creative spaces as a response to God’s invitation; we journaled our way through scripture; we were fed and shared life and laughter. Though it was rainy and windy outside, inside we enjoyed a precious time of renewal and refreshment.
We ended the day with an amazing reminder of our Creator’s love for us with a beautiful rainbow over Puget Sound. Stormegeddon never came, it fizzled out – but the rainbow was a reminder that God’s promises stand forever.
Perhaps you were unable to join us, but the good news is that Jesus’ invitation is an open one. At anytime, despite the busyness and storms of life, He invites and welcome you, His Beloved, to come away to a solitary place with Him. We look forward to seeing you at our next made Gathering, date TBD.
~Cindy Waple-Creative Team Member