In the 1970s, there was a group called The Carpenters. Karen Carpenter was the voice of the group. One of her songs was entitled, “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” Let me take you into bad weather.
It was one of those rainy days that my wife and I had to switch cars in the driveway. I pulled out so she could get to the top of the driveway. It was raining hard. The wipers were trying to keep the windshield clear. I had the car in reverse and looked at the back up camera. There was no rain. It was clear. I looked through the windshield. It was raining very hard. I looked at the back-up camera and it was clear.
At that moment, the windshield was being beaten down by rain. It represented the problems of my life. I was looking at life through the lens of stormy weather. Although it was raining at the back of my car, the lens in the backup camera saw things differently. It showed no rain. In fact, it appeared rather bright.
Isn’t that how life and faith intersect? We look at the problem in front of us and don’t know which way to turn. God invites us to look at life through His lens. Not to see what is, but instead, see what we can be as we join God where He is moving.
There is the Bible story of a prophet Elisha who found himself in a difficult situation with a foreign king. He had a gift of knowing what this king was saying in private and revealed those words to the king of Israel.
The foreign king thought he had a traitor in his ranks and summoned all his soldiers to report to him. When he confronted them about being on the side of the king of Israel, his officers explained that Elisha, the prophet, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom. The foreign king was upset and ordered his officers to find out where he is so he could send men and capture him. They found out the name of the city and the king sent soldiers there. They went by night and surrounded the city. This is where it gets interesting.
The next morning, the servant of Elisha got up early. There he saw an army with horses and chariots that had surrounded them in the city. He panicked and asked, “What do we do?”
If the servant were in the car with me, he would be looking through the windshield. He would be saying, “Look at the rain. It is really storming. We are in trouble.” However, Elisha was also in the car and told us to stop looking through the windshield. Instead, he tells us to look through the eyes of the backup camera. He tells us not to be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them. Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” This is where the servant changed his view and looked through the rear-view camera. The Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
We will have rainy days. We can take on that day looking through a rain-washed windshield. Or, we can see a different perspective – one of faith. However, it does require you to have a backup camera when it is storming outside.
The Rev. Tony Marciano is the executive director of the Charlotte Rescue Mission.