Thursday, May 10, 2018


Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone.  Zechariah 10:1

May he be like rain falling on a mown field; like showers watering the earth. Psalms 72:6

There is such delight in being able to listen to a gentle spring rain, with only faint grumbles of thunder.  The sound of drops pattering on horizontal surfaces and trickling down vertical ones is like a soothing lullaby.  Seeing the mistiness making lights waver and bright spring greens shimmer is like enjoying a moving work of art, shifting in the changing cloudlight.  Birds send out their most joyful songs and seem to chuckle softly to themselves.  Puddles reflect the white sky, and seem to boil with bubbles as drops bounce into them.  The freshness of the air and the smells of the wet earth make everything feel clean and rinsed of dusty weariness.  Spring's growth is nourished just as the soul's thirst for comfort and healing is tended.  Memories of other times and places in this hypnotic kind of soft rainfall arise and pull this moment into a thread of continuity.  

Rain has many associations for Christians; in the Bible - and in agricultural states like the one where I live - rain is an important part of the planting and growing seasons.  Crops and livestock depend on adequate rain, and ultimately everyone's food supply is tied to it.  God provides all this, and it is a testament of his care when the rain falls; it is a gift that feeds all people. 

The rain can be threatening, and floods are a fearful event in Biblical lore.  Rain is sometimes symbolic of God's righteousness showering down on the earth.  

But the beneficial rain is inclusive; it falls on everyone and everything.  If we choose to shower blessings like this, we share them without exception to all within reach.  God is in the water that baptizes us, the water that cleans us and everything we use and touch and see, the water that is a habitat for countless amazing beings, the water that nourishes our food and the trees and plants that give us shade and joy.

The rain I am enjoying at this moment is one of the ways I can experience God's peace that surpasses understanding.  This same rain is making someone else feel soggy and chilled, so I have to hope that somehow God's comfort is felt by that person in some way as well.  I often work in the evenings, and I am fortunate enough to be home by an open door for this rainfall.  Someone else who planned an outdoor event for this evening has had to make a change in plans, and isn't feeling as fortunate.  

There is a Jewish prayer recited at the start of the rainy season in Israel.  This is an excerpt.  

May He send rain from the heavenly towers,

To soften the earth with its crystal showers.

You have named water the symbol of Your might,

All that breathes life in its drops to delight. 

O revive those who praise Your powers of rain....

For you are God, who causes the wind to blow 

and the rain to fall; 

for a blessing and not for a curse - Amen!

For life, and not for death - Amen!

For plenty, and not for scarcity - Amen!

Mollie Manner

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