I don’t know who invented the umbrella or even where that strange name comes from. But I appreciated the small black umbrella that sheltered me from the rain this morning.

            It’s quite an invention really. It is like a little roof that travels with you. It is lightweight and folds up. It comes in handy if you are trying to stay somewhat dry. It can also help block the critical rays of the sun.

            I recall being in the outlying islands of Papua New Guinea when a heavy tropical rain storm descended.  The local women walking along the road stepped into the trees and each cut off a large leaf from a banana tree to hold over her head. Apparently, umbrellas come in all shapes and sizes, often right from the tree.

            Sometimes we each need a little shelter. A bit of rain may not cause us to melt, but it can be uncomfortable and cold-inducing. At other times, a downpour can overwhelm us and undo our composure. That’s when a shelter helps.

            In the midst of life’s other storms we need different types of umbrellas, the ones that offer protection from more than the rain. It would be a shame not to ask for that shelter when we need it.          

“Keep me safe, O God; in you I take refuge.”

Psalm 16:1