December rain streaked the night sky reflecting the city lights. It may have been a dreary winter night in the streets, but we were expectant and joyful, celebrating the arrival of the Christmas season. I drew my wrap tighter and braced for stormy gusts. Slipping from the shelter of the parking garage, I bowed my head from the rain. Immediately, a man rushed my direction. I scurried to dodge out of his way and apologized for being in his path. He called for me to wait. And suddenly the rain stopped.
“You’re not in my way. You’re why I’m here!”
His voice came from over my shoulder. His over-sized umbrella was now carefully perched above my head. I glanced up at him in surprise as he matched paced. Rain poured down his cheeks. His button-down shirt was immediately soaked like a second skin.
I looked long at him in surprise and amazement. “You’re here to shelter us from the rain?”
I now saw a number of gentlemen with umbrellas lining the sidewalk, covering each of us collecting at the corner for the shuttle bus. But this fellow hadn’t waited in the line for me to reach him. He wasn’t sharing in his own provision of shelter. He was standing in a downpour—smiling with his whole face. “We’re so glad you’re here.”
He was glad I was here? I stood incredulous at his act of delighted sacrifice. I asked him to at least draw under the umbrella with me. He said, “I’m fine. Really. How are you tonight?”
I was baffled. Simply baffled. We chatted, and the rain continued to bathe his face. Not once in the stormy wind did he allow me to lack for his shelter.
As the shuttle bus arrived, he bid a Merry Christmas and a wonderful night. I couldn’t find enough words to thank him. He waved and smiled, standing in the dark, soaked to the bone while I was dry in the warm glow of the bus.
Through the entire celebration I thought of his gift—a servant heart. All of those men standing along the sidewalk. And this one who came seeking me. Running to shelter me. Drawing and remaining near.
When we left, the sky was clear. The stars danced. Another fellow stood at the shuttle stop. I shared with him how amazed I was at the gracious welcome we’d been shown. His eyes danced, and his face beamed. “I love it when it rains on the nights you come… for moments like this. Rainy nights are the best.”
My eyes dropped to his name tag. “Sunny” with a u. And my whole heart smiled. Indeed.
As we wished each other a Merry Christmas, I realized the parable I’d just walked. Isn’t this the sacrificial gift of Christ? Come to earth. Not just willingly—intently, joyfully—for us. To the discomfort of a world that otherwise could look bleak? To the baffled hearts who can’t begin to understand His sacrifice? And yet are drawn. Grateful.
Every moment, He seeks us out with the offer to save—his eyes fixed on ours.
When we feel we’re just stumbling in the way. He says, “I am the way. And you are the reason.”
Sought. Saved. Right where you are. And he stays. He stays.