Conversations With Brother Lawrence

Wind, Rain & God’s Judgment

The rain quickly soaked my robe as I ran to the herbalist shed in the herb garden. Bursting through the door, I quickly shut it against the wind and rain. Brother Lawrence, looking up from his work, picked up and threw me a towel to dry my face and hands.

“If it wasn't for the rain, the wind and the cold it would be a great day Brother.” I said trying to be positive. With a slightly hidden smile Brother Lawrence nodded his head. “Yes, and if it were not for the rabbits, the birds and the insects eating my herbs it would be a bountiful harvest.”

We both enjoyed a guilty chuckle as I'm afraid this little bit of levity was at the expense of Brother Prior who is always urging us to look on the bright side of things. Trouble is there is not much “bright” in the midst of a storm; except the lightening.

“So, what do you think is the cause of all this bad weather Brother? Do you think it is God's judgment on us for our sins?” I said this half mockingly as we both have had to endure the rantings of one of our Brothers who was a former preacher and takes his views, shall we say, a little to seriously.

“Why would you call any weather bad Brother? Weather is weather and we are most fortunate to have the weather we have rather than none at all. Weather is what gives us life and reminds us that this world is much bigger than us and we are just living here. In the grand scheme of things, we are no more important than the birds, the bees or the insects that surround us. In fact, if it were not for the birds, the bees and the insects that we so easily dismiss as a nuisance, the plants would not grow and we would not eat.

I have often wondered what the weather was in the past. We are so quick to assume that our weather is much worse than at other times yet we have only been recording it for a couple hundred years or so. History likes to assume that humans were the instigators of all the great moments in History but I suspect we have let our arrogance once again supplant the real reason for why things changed.”

“And Brother, you know what you always tell me when I assume anything. To assume is to make an...”

“Yes. Yes. I do wish you would remember the more important things I try to teach you Brother rather than those that should not be repeated in polite company. But you are right and I'm afraid we have made an... well...something not too pleasant of our own actions.”

“Brother, is it true that God judges us by sending bad weather upon us. I mean if our dear Brother is right and God is judging us by sending floods and sweltering heat and earthquakes and tornadoes and drought what can we do?”

“First I do love our dear Brother. He does mean well. He has read the scriptures and has tried to use them to follow our Lord's teachings. But I do think he takes a bit more upon himself then he should. And indeed, God did send a great flood to judge us humans in Noah's day but I have often wondered just what the world was like then. We have so little about how people lived and... but back to your question.

I'm reminded about what our Brother Clive has said. He has written many books and every time some author has said that he interpreted Brother Clive's real meaning behind the actions of his characters, it was always wrong. Now as brilliant as Brother Clive is, he would be the first and dare I say the most forceful, in denying he could be compared to God. And yet if learned literature professors cannot understand the actions of fictional characters written by a mere mortal, how can anyone pretend to be able to determine the motives for God and his creation?”

“But then why do we have such horrid weather just now Brother. Do you think it may even be the beginnings of the end of times as Revelation speaks of it?

“Oh my. Have you not been listening to me Brother? I have just said that we cannot even know the mind of a human author who writes so beautifully as Brother Clive does and understand his meanings let alone the illusionary meanings of Revelation. And remember, our Lord said that even HE didn't know when the end was coming, only the Father. And last time I checked, neither you nor I are HE.

“No, I think we should look more to ourselves to answer your question.”

“How so Brother? You have just said we should not put ourselves in the place of God.”

“Yes, you are right and it is good that you are listening. But I'm saying that all too often our pronouncements about what God is doing is more about our own desires then His. We try to use the force of nature to justify our own views about what the world should be like. Who is to say that our present weather is not very usual? We know that the weather goes through cycles and while humans can affect the weather somewhat, it really only miniscule compared to the great changes the earth regularly goes through. No. I would say that we humans don't affect the weather or the goings on or our world much at all aside from our ability to blow it all up.

“But then again, maybe they are right...in a way. What we do in our daily lives will affect us individually and could affect many more. The actions of one person can change the course of human history. Yes. I sometimes forget how powerful our actions can be but not regarding the weather. We have to not look farther then the actions of our Lord here on earth. His one great act of dying on the cross for our sins had done more to change the course of History than any other. And yes, there have been many who want would have preferred that it had never happened, I am referring to our great adversary, but most don't realize just how life changing something that happened two thousand years ago can affect their lives today. Oh, there are those who would say it was the cause of great wrongs done in the name of our Lord but there again it is simply humans trying to use the power of God for their own evil designs. No, the sacrifice of one person can affect the entire course of History and if I recall my scriptures correctly, our Lord DID affect the weather a few times also.”

Brother said this last with a wry smile as we both looked up and notice the sun had peaked out from behind the clouds and a ray of sunshine shone through the window to lighten the room.

“Now dear Brother, we must continue to our work or our lives will change for the worse when Brother Dominic doesn't get his meals prepared. Now off you go.”

Copyright© 2019 Larry T. Slater