7751861546On a recent Saturday, I worked in the yard for a while, listening to an audiobook to distract me from how much I dislike it.

I enjoy being outdoors and love the sun. I am less fond of the actual work of trying to control a bazillion weeds every summer. But I was doing it under a cloudless Colorado blue sky drenched in sunshine. And I mean cloudless. And did I say blue?

Then the thirst and sweating got to be too much, and I went inside to clean up. The next stop was the library for an afternoon writing session.

This transition took less than fifteen minutes. When I left the yard, I saw no sign of bad weather. By the time I got to the library, I wasn’t sure I could get from my car to the door without getting soaked.

After eighteen years in Colorado, I should not be surprised.

I got myself set up to work where I could look out a long wall of windows. Usually I enjoy the view of the mountains. On that day, the pounding storm was the main attraction, completely obscuring the Rockies.

And then, just as quickly, the storm passed.

What happened next made my laugh out loud in a library. Cell phones started going off all over the library. Even the ones with the ringers turned off buzzed in chorus.

People scrambled to quiet phones in purses and bookbags. Finally someone said aloud, “It’s an alert notice about the storm.”

It was too late to call it a warning, at least in my neighborhood.

It seemed to me that a lot of the alerts we get in our lives are like that—coming too late.

• Too late not to get seriously ill.

• Too late not to step off that curb and break your ankle.

• Too late to take back those spiteful words.

• Too late not to make that questionable choice about a job or relationship that will change the future.

How fragile life is. And how quickly it can change.

The storm was over. Blue skies. Sun. Mountains. It was all as if the deluge hadn’t happened. And that, too, is a reminder. The blinding storms happened, but they don’t have to be the last thing we see. We can always look for the grace of wholeness, healing and restoration.