has been coming down off and on for nearly a month. Everything is damp and the sky has been a gray iron helmet. When the sun comes it’s a tease, a few moments, an hour or two, and then the sky begins to weep again.
On the trip down to LaCrosse, Wisconsin this Sunday past the constant drizzle and drip forced its way into my thoughts. Windshield wipers scuffed back and forth. The road was shiny, glazed with water. Clouds rolled by like a monochrome wall. Surely the drought conditions of the year gone by were over. Now what falls from the sky is simply adding insult to injury, damp to dark, and purposeless wetting to what should be a beautiful day in June.
Except, of course, for the larger scheme of things.
I’m a creature who lives in moments, moments past and moments present. All I see is the rain. All I remember is the rain. All I ponder is that the rain will never stop. That this rain may actually be for years from now, an aquifer for some future dryness means nothing to me. That rivers need replenishing all the way down to the sea for people I do not know has not crossed my mind. That creatures other than myself may find not dreariness but abundant life in the waters falling from the clouds is not in my frame of reference.
But all of that and more is always present to God who causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. God is mindful of things in ways that I cannot comprehend. So the rain falls. I wait. Soon the sun will shine again for the same reasons the rain falls now, order, meaning, and purpose from the One who sees everything in its proper and timeless perspective.
as I can remember. The rain has been falling for hours while the cats sleep it all away on the living room floor. A ceiling fan quietly twists and hums through its duties and the irregular drops of water tap on the windows like lost children.
There are things to do today. In fact there’s a lot to do. Why people want to be in such a hurry to get out in the “real” world puzzles me. The chores, the things you do because you have to and the people you have to deal with are hardly any fair payment in return for being able to vote and walk into a liquor store. Work, at least work as it has become, is what happened when the world fell from its former grace. Its part of what some folks call the “curse” of the days beyond Eden and it has meaning only because the goodness of those days still somehow finds a way to shine through the cracks in the wall around the garden.
We were designed to be Farmers and Priests, caretakers of the good world given to us and singers of praise to its Maker. Now we live in cubicles, try to make our way through the gibberish, and if not by the sweat of our brow we make our way through the years by the sweat of our soul. Adam had no axe, there was no disfigurement to prune away, no death to remove from its place, no need even for a fire in the warmth of God’s life. Yet all that is past now. The tree could not be removed and we face the morning with a sigh.
It’s time to go now. Time to shower. Time to shave. Time to put on the best face for the day. In the car we go with the rest of the herd, crawling like ants in hope of sugar. It’s why people waste their money on the lottery and push their kids to be rock stars, the hope to be free of it all.
It’s a sign, too, that we were designed for something better and there is a place for us yet to go. The traces of Eden and the hope of heaven have not left us. They are instinctual, primal, and basic. They are why we sigh in the morning, fall into restless sleep at night, and think about what could have been on gray rainy mornings.