Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Strengthening Rain

Can I let you in on a little secret?  Every time I sit down to write here I feel like my thoughts should be much more organized.  It's a wonder any of my posts make sense...if you could see the mess whirling around in my head right now - yikes!  Sometimes it keeps me from writing; I second guess myself & say that surely someone else has written about that exact same thought & surely they have expressed it much more effectively than I ever could...but, some days I get over myself & actually put fingers to keyboard.  Because some things just boil up inside of me until they are let out.  Such is the case today.

The past I don't know how long, week or so, I have really struggled with the lack of rain & the unrelenting heat.  I don't mind a hot day; usually I enjoy the heat much more than other folks.  But the weather we have had this summer is unusual & that's nothing you don't already know.  And the heat is exhausting.  And the lack of rain has left me unsettled, too. I've actually fought some anxiety over it.  

It goes a little deeper for me than just being concerned about my tomato plants.  My dad is a landscaper.  In weather like this his work dries up just like the leaves & the grass.  Most years this would be troubling because he would be bored & their finances would be a little tight.  This year, the first year without my mom, in my estimation it's much more devastating.  As I put my watchful eye on my dad my chest tightens with concern.  And I know that in my mind I am making the situation worse than it probably is, but I worry - long lonely evenings were bad enough before but what if his days become long & lonely & empty, too?  What if I have to see my dad even more broken, unable even to work though he wants to?  So I cry & worry & try to come up with solutions & I pray, begging for rain, begging for a break in the weather.  And then I called dad & asked if he could please help us with our yard?  Tackle some weeds & let me pay him.  He agrees to tackle the weeds but we are still debating the pay.

He came over yesterday driving his big blue truck loaded down with his various weed dealing tools.  He walked the yard digging & spraying & reassuring me that we could make something lovely out of the mess we have - providing we get some rain.  And I watched him work & we both sweat through our clothes & my despair just mounted.  The lack of rain & the heat & the continued struggles in my heart & in our family to just cope & keep living...it all makes me feel somehow like the end of the world is bearing down upon us.

Dad finished up his work & we chatted for a few minutes & I wanted to ask him to stay for supper but I didn't have a plan for what we would eat or even when.  I asked him anyway but he declined like I sort of knew he would.  He left with a wave out the window & Mike sat with me on the front steps while I quietly cried out my despair on his strong shoulder.  He comforted me with his silence - there were no words of impatience or correction, just a deep understanding of my weak faith because after all, there is not one of us who hasn't had some struggle like this.  

Eventually we get up & go into the cool house, have some supper, & move about our evening activities.  I was in the kitchen starting a batch of muffins.  He was in the living room finishing his supper.  I glanced out the window & saw RAIN.  At first I was confused because the sky was still bright blue but it was in fact raining.  I squealed & I hollered & I ran into the living room & out the front door right into the cool shower. I let it dot my shirt & make my toes slippery in my flip flops before I came back to the porch & Mike took some pics with his phone.  Lovely, beautiful, wet, cool rain - what a gift, what an answer to prayer, what a balm for my vexed soul.  

The shower didn't last long - maybe five minutes but it was followed later by a thunderstorm that hailed on our new car & left me sopping wet while grocery shopping.  But I pushed my cart through the too-cool air conditioned store, my damp hair sticky & clumpy with wet hairspray, wearing a smile.  I know that one evening of showers can't undo all the drought like conditions we have going on here.  I know that one rain doesn't equal a break in the weather.  And I know that my dad's phone hasn't been ringing off the hook today with customers who are now ready for him to get started on their yards.  But I do know that those little raindrops last night restored my hope.  Maybe things in this life will never be straightened out & maybe the end of the world is breathing down our necks, but through all of it, my God is by my side & when my strength in adversity is faint & small, His has just begun.  I can do all things through Christ...(Philippians 4:13).


Mrs.T said...

Oh, Mary Ann -- this is beautiful. Just beautiful. Thank you for being willing to share it. I would like to say I know exactly how you feel, but I know that's unrealistic. No two people have the same situation and so I can't say that. But I can and do empathize with what you are feeling and all that you are dealing with. I am thanking God right along with you for that rain and for the hope and encouragement it brought you.

Heidi said...

I love that you said Mike just let you cry...he didn't say anything. So thankful that God brought Mike into your life. I know he has been a wonderful support and encourager for you.

Thankful that God allowed you to see rain and that it gave you hope!

the johnson crew said...

You are seriously an amazing writer. I am praying for you all and for your dad. We got a little sprinkling of rain this morning and even that little bit made me smile.

Praying God continues to give you rain and that your dad's business will pick up.