"Call it what you will, I call it rain.
When troubles come, and pat against my soul.
Go in if you like, I will remain,
And let the washing waters make me whole..."
One of the things I love most about summers spent high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, is the ubiquitous late afternoon summer storm. Following a dry, hot, mountain breeze-cooled morning, and a dusty, nap-evocative early afternoon, in come the drenching rains of a late afternoon day in the Arkansas Valley. A slate-colored bank of ominous, black clouds rolls over the mountains like smoke pouring from the stack of an old coal-driven steam engine chugging across the plains.
They release their gifts in torrents that pound the metal roof of my cabin like a cadre of drummers marching through the forest. The first few drops are arrestingly cold and pointed, but once you give in to their soaking rhythm on your head and shoulders, something in you begins to smile with delight. The lyrics to Sara Groves' "Rain" has been a lovely, and sweet, reminder of how it feels to face our personal storms head on.
I remember the first time I let the dark rains of sorrow and fear descend, and pummel me with purpose. I don't know how I found the strength (or the cluelessness) to defiantly turn my face up into their torrents of terror, but I did. And I will never regret it.
"What if you die? What if you never have a child? What if you are being punished for mistakes from your childhood? What if you really are a bad person and don't deserve to be a mom?" the words pounded against my heart. I stood there, letting the heavy, cold drops beat down on my face, until I could no longer tell the difference between the rain and my tears.
"...Just when I'm sure that I can't bear the rain,
a tiny leaf starts pushing through the ground."
In a place where the soil was too dry to sustain it,
a new tiny flower can be found..."
And even though I thought it was the loss of a child, job, relationship, healthy body that would take me down, it was actually the fear that perhaps I deserved it, which really, almost, eroded away all of my hope. "Had I been a bad child? Did my poor choices as an angry, grieving adult daughter, mean that I didn't deserve to become a parent myself? Did my efforts to take obsessive control of my life, destroy all possibility for spiritual serendipity?"
"...Once I was stuck,
I thought things would never change...
And I watched that cloud pass through the sky.
And right before my eyes, it took a different shape
And I knew, so would the clouds in my own life..."
I remember sitting in the woods near our home, one rainy spring night...long after midnight...weeping like a woman who was "sore in spirit" when, in the midst of profound emotional agony, I realized something in me, still had life. I could suddenly see, with such clarity, that no matter how disappointed my hopes, no matter how painful the losses, no matter how devastating the heartache...I still had hope. I still wanted to parent. I still wanted to be happy, whole, peaceful, and loved. That hope was enough of a tiny-leafed something to remind me that I had a God who loved me...unconditionally.
"...And I see Him in the rain.
And I feel Him wash away,
what I do not understand.
So new life can spring up once again..."
I started to see that by being willing to stand in "the rain" and actually walk through the heartache of those experiences...experiences that threatened to strip me of everything that I thought I loved...I was being prepared for something new. I was facing my fears head on, and discovering a new message within each drop that began to wash away the tatters of fear and supposition that had held me in their grip.
The driving rain pierced through the hard shell of self-preservation and dried-up desires. The brittle crust that had long since formed over the sweetness of my childhood dreams, was broken up and washed away, allowing nourishing, living waters to reach the seeds of hope that lay far buried beneath the surface. The rains that beat down upon me were stirring the soil, waking me to God's presence in my life...a relentless, persistent hope that may have lain dormant, but I now knew, would never die.
"...And the flowers come to show,
that all that rain,
was helping me to grow."
I sometimes wonder, "what if I had run from the rain?" But I didn't... And I am grateful every day that I still don't.
What seed of hope is waiting for you to be willing to play in the rain for?
"Hope happifies life, at the altar or bower,
And loosens the fetters of pride and of power;
It comes through our tears, as the soft summer rain,
To beautify, bless, and make joyful again..."
- Mary Baker Eddy
Just a question...offered with Love,
Kate Robertson, CS
My friend Michelle had this link to "Learning to Dance in the Rain"posted on her Facebook wall...I thought I'd pass it along...enjoy.
Also, here are some additional statements by Eddy that have inspired and encouraged me to trust in the power of hope, and to not fear the rain...
"Clouds parsimonious of rain, that swing in the sky with dumb thunderbolts, are seen and forgotten in the same hour; while those with a mighty rush, which waken the stagnant waters and solicit every root and every leaf with the treasures of rain, ask no praising. Remember, thou canst be brought into no condition, be it ever so severe, where Love has not been before thee and where its tender lesson is not awaiting thee. Therefore despair not nor murmur, for that which seeketh to save, to heal, and to deliver, will guide thee, if thou seekest this guidance."
"The lightnings and thunderbolts of error may burst and flash till the cloud is cleared and the tumult dies away in the distance. Then the raindrops of divinity refresh the earth. As St. Paul says: "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God" (of Spirit)."