Monday, July 9, 2012


2 : to fall as water in drops from the clouds

As I write this, it is raining outside.  It's not done nearly enough of that lately.  Even two weeks ago, the grass was crunchy.  That normally happens around here - in August, not late June.  What started as a very mild summer has turned into one that has left us feeling parched.  I can't recall a time in my life when I've prayed for rain before, but I have done so at the sight of a gray cloud or the sound of booming thunder in the distance over the course of the last few days.  So I am thankful for the drops hitting our roof right now.

Rain is like so many other things in our lives: we don't notice it unless we receive too little or too much of it.  A friend was telling me today about a farmer she met who explained that his job was to take care of the soil.  Because if the soil is properly cared for, the crop in that soil can withstand a bit too much rain or not quite enough.  There are limits, of course, but it was fascinating to think about this continuum of acceptable rain that the soil can adjust to accommodate.

This seems an apt metaphor for my spiritual life in so many ways.  I can't control the rain or the crop.  I can only make sure the soil of my soul is in the right condition.  And once it is, it's not about how much or how little I do.  Although my soul (as the soil surely does) will crave more nourishing rain once it tastes its goodness.  We sang this morning about tasting his goodness, knowing his presence and feasting until you must have more.  Once we are well-watered, we feel the drought more intensely when it comes.

I often hear from God clearly and distinctly.  So when I go days or weeks without clarity, it's easy to feel unmoored.  Thankfully, I have a dear friend who doesn't hear from God as clearly, yet she longs to do so.  She sets aside time to be quiet and listen.  She makes space for him in her life.  But she is simply wired differently than I am and has a different relationship with God than I do.  When I go through a period of silence in my relationship with God, I think it's best for me to remember that my soul is designed to deal with mild drought and mild over-watering.  God doesn't require that I spend X amount of time in the scripture, offer up Y number of prayers and serve Z number of ministries in order to care for me.  Whether I know it or not, the soil of my soul is getting what it needs from my maker.

When my daughter K visited my mother last month, it rained while she was there.  She and her cousins played in the rain until they were soaked through.  That's what I'd like to do with the moments of clarity and closeness that I have with God - let them soak me all the way through so that droplets cling there even long after the shower has passed.

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