Last Sunday, it was a lovely day but some folks decided to come to Aldersgate anyway. During our time of sharing the joys in our lives someone pointed out “I just read that Juneau is the cloudiest city in all 50 United States!” (Oh, joy?) In fact, in preparation for this article I googled these “facts” which I’m sure are accurate because I got these numbers from the internet. Apparently, we enjoy 321 cloudy or extensively cloudy skies per year.
But then there’s been days like these. Today is Wednesday and so far this is the fifth sunny or partly sunny day we’ve had in a row. It occurred to me that generally I go about my days working, writing, visiting, food shopping, cleaning, writing more and attending meetings — but then, when I least expect it, the sun shines, the mountains are visible, the blues found in the sky and the water and the glacier are revealed. The greens of the mountains and moss and enormous new growth of spring come to life. It’s as if I’ve miraculously found myself on a wonderful vacation that many Americans have on their bucket list. How fortunate I am.
What particularly strikes me on these glorious, awe-inspiring and breathtaking days is that something I forgot was always there and just revealed to me (again). The veil between the everyday Juneau I live in and the spectacular Juneau that I also live in, has been lifted and each time that veil is lifted I think, “Ahhhh, that’s why we live here. God reveals Godself in such an extraordinarily brilliant way that there can be no denying — God is good.”
The other thing I remember on these spectacular days is that the sun and the blues and the greens and the stars and the moon are always there. Just because the clouds block my view, doesn’t mean the gift of glory goes away.
Now, as an ex-English teacher and a present pastor, how can I not make this a metaphor about God? It may seem obvious by this paragraph, but entertain me and let me just write these words to solidify what I’ve already implied. The veil of the overcast skies are like the fog we live in on a daily basis, living the ordinariness of our lives and forgetting the glory of God all around us. But when the overcast skies clear, God reveals Godself and we might head to the trail or fall to our knees in awe and wonder. But then, inevitably, the clouds will come again and the veil between the divine and ordinary pulls us back into that place where we forget to live in awe of God’s creation.
Let me take this space to remind us all that even when the clouds come and the darkness surrounds us, even when the slush turns brown and the puddles are three inches deep, even when it’s hard to simply walk the dog because it’s so blustery and nasty outside, we can rest in the truth that the sun and the sky, the moon and the stars, the blues and the greens remain always and forever — just ask any Alaska Airlines pilot.
• Boegli is the pastor at Aldersgate Methodist Church.