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Even God Made the Clouds

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The recent cloudy days remind me of an encounter I had with a homeless man four years ago. I had just completed three years of college seminary and was helping at the Milwaukee Cathedral's Outdoor Café. The Café serves lunch to the city's homeless. Having returned from college seminary, I was feeling pretty proud of myself and contracted the contagious graduate "know-it-all" disease. I was ready to go out to the world and evangelize with the vast knowledge I had acquired.

After serving the food at the Café, I sat with one of the men. I made small talk with him while seeking for an opening when I could impart the theology I learned. The opening never came and I began to get frustrated and lose interest. As the man continued to eat, I absently said, "I wish it was a sunnier day." The man paused in between eating and replied simply, "Even God made the clouds."

Even God made the clouds. In one short sentence I learned more lessons from this homeless man than a theology class could have taught me and I was humbled. One of the lessons I learned was what it meant to be grateful. Here was a man who found what true gratitude looks like. That no matter the circumstances, there was always something to be grateful for, especially when things do not go out way. Whether it be a sandwich on a hungry day, an opening for theology not appearing, or clouds in the sky, there is always something to be grateful to God for. Sometimes that means even being grateful for the things we wish were different.

I think about that homeless man every time the sky is dark with clouds. Yes, even God makes the clouds.

3 Comments

Tom Austin on 8/2/21 1:21pm

That was a very thoughtful and interesting message. It did make me think about things in my life. Thanks Fr. Tim.

Mary Lestina on 8/3/21 5:02am

Wow! Powerful lesson learned. Thank you Fr. Tim for sharing.

Cathy Newbauer on 8/3/21 4:39pm

You can learn something from everyone.
Grateful for the eyes that see those clouds.

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