Maybe you’ve seen this poster floating around Facebook… I do this. (Sorry I can’t credit the source). Hopefully we can be friends anyway. A little disclaimer, though, before proceeding: I’m only a linear thinker when I have to be and ideally the remainder of this post will prove it canbe done.
I don’t know where you are in your day. You or I may both be in need of a shower in the sense of personal hygiene. But I’m speaking here of a rain shower. And speaking of rain (See. I can string two thoughts together), thunder showers are predicted for the afternoon. So I best get to it so I’m not sitting at the computer should lightning strike near me.
Speaking of weather (that’s three–wow! I’m on a roll…), I was surprised by it yesterday. I had ignored the forecast and didn’t expect the rain. But it came. And it’s exactly what our area, overcome with wildfires, so desperately needed. (By the way, please. Pray. Donate. Help.) It’s also what inspired today’s post.
As is [intentionally becoming] my custom, I grabbed my morning glass of water and started up the stairs. My second-story writing studio/chapel/meeting room has been a bit stuffy lately, given the layout of our house and the recent three-digit temperatures. I heard what I thought was water running, then realized it was the spattering of light rain on the metal roof. As I walked closer to the room where I had left the window slightly open, the sound grew louder, eliciting from me a grateful smile. The garden would appreciate it for sure.
The lyrics of a song came to mind (imagine that!): “Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me…”
It continues, expanding on the prayer: “Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me…” (at least that’s the way we sang it growing up).
Like many of us, I sang it and meant it from the bottom of my young heart, with as much understanding as I had. Some of those well-intentioned sentiments weren’t stewarded as well as they were intended. As a consequence, and out of the countless vacancies in the bottomless pit that was my embryonic core self, I offered the-me-that-was, to be not just “used by God,” but to be used up as well. Over time, I found myself rather worn, a little confused and in need of repair.
It made me think (…don’t ask me why…) of the once-vibrant tomato plants fighting for their lives in my garden, brought to life by the same sun which, for the past week, has beat down on them without mercy. They are exhausted, their environment is neglected–it’s been too hot to weed, some of the leaves are scorched, baby fruit shriveled. With as much mercy as the sun, I have checked them each day, tapping my foot and wiling their beautiful, red bounty to appear.
“Seriously?” I can almost hear their anguished whisper. “I’m trying to survive my place in the world and you’re asking me to feed you?
I imagine each tomato plant was as surprised as I by the rain–as delighted, as relieved. “Whew! A break. A cool shower. “Just when I needed it most.” Its thirsting, wilted branches opening–as wide as they can–to receive; to absorb the cool water; to be cleansed, refreshed; to drink in its abundant goodness. Then one day, through no striving of its own, it will produce i pomodori. Just think:
- It came from a seed another planted.
- It grew because another fed and watered it.
- It endures because another protects it
- It still stands because another supports it
- It bears fruit because it can’t help it.
As I stand each day, face to the Son, enduring the heat, extending my roots deeper into the Soil where nourishment is available for dry times, I remember that the Rain will come and take me by surprise. And like a parched plant, I lift my arms in glorious surrender to The Rain. I smile a grateful smile and say to Another…
“God of the Universe, Giver of Life, Sustainer of all that is, shower me,” and You do.
“Just when I needed You most.”
Do you feel that you have been melted, molded, filled and used until, like an old sweater can no longer retain its shape, you no longer resemble what you think might have been the Designer’s original vision of you? In need of a shower? What practices help you reach deeper in the Soil while you wait for Rain? Click “Leave a Comment” or “# Comments” up top, by the title, to talk back.