Everyone loves going on vacation with their friends. Bonding, adventuring, and enjoying are all wrapped up in a few incredible days. Most of the time, they can be a little crazy and wild, but no one ever really expects them to be spiritual or emotionally life-changing, although they’re undoubtedly unforgettable. My summer trip in June 2016 was a little different. I thought I was just going on a trip to Arkansas with Sarah and her parents, but I didn’t think I would have any hair-straightening, chilling moments. Clearly, I was wrong. One night in particular, the night we went to see the Passion play at an outdoor theater, sticks out in my memory constantly, as this night was when my opinion of wind was changed.
The evening started as any night of theatre-going would: showers, makeup, dresses, dinner, the works. I don’t think anyone expected to have as much rain as we did, although the rain didn’t start very early and didn’t last very long. We had suspected some, although hoped for the bare minimum, as we were in an outdoor theater. Before the play, we were even joking with some of the staff members, an occasion that foreshadowed a light and playful night. I don’t know why I thought a cheerful evening was in my midst, as we were seeing the Passion play, a story that told the story of an event that most certainly was not spirited or sprightly in any capacity. As the play was happening, the sun went down and out came the stars. The sounds of the nature all around us really added to the reality of the play. The nature was not anything like in the city. There was only nature around us. No busy streets or tall buildings. You could actually see the stars and there were even fireflies all around us, a natural beauty that one could never find in an urban environment. You could smell summer in the air and the high trees that were all around us. The play was excellent. The set was incredibly accurate and the actors acted with such a realness that you could almost imagine you were in Jerusalem, as a Jew watching this horrific event take place. As the day turned to night, the weather cooled a bit and suggested that the rain would commence shortly. Around the time that Jesus walked the trail to Calvary, the rain started lightly, but there was still a sense that there was more to come. Like in the play, our scene was about to become more intense and amplified. Jesus was nailed to the cross, but at the moment that he began speaking to God, the winds escalated and the rain came hard. The wind blew with force that we could barely hold on to our umbrellas. At the moment he died, everyone could feel His presence. The theatre was silent except for the sound of the winds and the rain. Everyone was still and everyone was silent. The crickets stopped chirping and the fireflies stopped lighting. No one breathed. We could all feel the intensity of the moment and the chills going down everyone’s spines. That moment was life-changing and miraculous. I have never felt wind the same way again.
Every time the weather is cool and windy, I feel His presence and the feeling comforts me because that moment is brought back to me. I feel the intensity and the chills. I smell the fresh rain and air and nature around me. I hear the silence and the sound of the rain on the ground. I feel His care and love for us, as the intensity of the weather made us realize the intensity of the moment. My faith life has changed tremendously because of this moment. I feel that I have been brought closer to God through nature and I now feel His presence all around me in the natural world. That trip was truly one of my favorites, for many reasons. I was brought closer to my best friend and her family, but I was also brought closer to God and His son, our Savior and Redeemer.