It was my wife’s anniversary present to me – a viewing of Singin’ in the Rain on the big screen at Edwards this past Thursday evening. Sixtieth anniversary.
The theater was packed. That surprised me for some reason.
Packed to the point of making the room quite warm.
People applauded after each dance number.
It was, to risk being cliched, quite magical.
Never seen the full movie before, but always LOVED the title song. Mesmerized, captured me every time I saw it come up on TV growing up. Seeing it in the full context of the film’s story, I found myself all the more enraptured by it – this man not merely caught up in ephemeral attraction but embracing the rain as he finds his way through a changing landscape.
Oddly enough, this song was sent to me in March of 2010 when I was ordained officially after 30 years of ministry (some of us just learn more slowly). How could I have possibly anticipated a whole new meaning of this song as exactly two years later to the day I went in for cancer surgery.
Rain has been an ongoing image for me in these chemo days. Silver rain, dripping, pouring, flowing into me week after week. Approaching week seven I have frankly wondered how I could go through just one more session let alone six. And then come the follow-up scans, the pill cam, the scopings. Searching , searching, searching for something more.
And even if there’s nothing, what then?
Do I keep the implanted port for another rainy day?
In faith do I discard it like Lockwood discards his umbrella?
Tell me, just what was a normal life like again? What was it?
But then, has my life ever been “normal”?
Would I ever want it to be?
Will I remember to be alive without the unique sensation of waking up every other week – the rush of vibrant, flowing, filling life?
Will I just flatline after all this, being dead even though I live? Just another in a long line of religious dolts?
And then I see Kelly dance. I see him sing. I see him grasping that lamppost, stomping in deep puddles. And the song, the words fill me like the chemo even now pumping into me. Dancing would be awkward with this pack around my waist. But the song runs in the background of my spirit, inviting me to join.
I close my eyes.
And I am.