There’s that tantalizing look of rain outside. A slim 20% chance according to meteorologists, and we’re mostly in the 80%.
I’ve read interpretations of Matthew 5:45 that said the sun shining on the wicked and the good stands for blessing and the rain on the righteous and the unrighteous means trouble. But I’ve never read it that way myself. Rain and sun, both, I’ve read as blessings.
On summer afternoons, when billowy clouds sail about the blue sky like Victorian ladies promenading in the park, when the grass begins to seem crackly and your soul feels crackly like the grass, you ache for rain to fall.
Why do people associate rain with trouble? Because of storms? Because of tears? Because of floods?
Our pastor recently shared John Piper’s meditation on the miracle of rain with our congregation. Piper goes into details about the way rain gets into clouds and then onto the ground. It’s more than a little amazing. Each drop the result of an intricate process of condensation, coalescence, and electric fields contriving to water the earth without drowning the earth.
The rain leaves the air smelling clean. Makes the world green and the grass soft. Makes the low, dirty spots into little mirrors, reflecting glory.
And when you cry your heart out, you’re left exhausted, but somehow relieved. Tears soften the brittle spots in your soul, so that they needn’t break, help you, somehow, reach the point at which we can glimpse glory in our low and dirty spots. We cry for trouble and sorrow, but we also cry for joy: the glorious “at-last-ness” of things which come together and are finally made beautiful. And each tear, each tear, is written in His book.
When God wipes all tears from our eyes, in that land where the Lamb is the lamp and the river of life flows to make glad the city of God, will rain no longer be required? Washed clean at last, finally and forever, given abundance of that final thirst-quenching stream that we may thirst no more, the brittle spots will be gone forever, the world will be one mirror, reflecting glory.
But we live still in the world which requires a sun, the world which grows dry, the world in which we are thirsty. And so we ache for rain, for washing, for refreshment.
Send water, Lord, that our brittle souls may soften, that our parched grass may grow green.
©2013 by Stacy Nott