I remember as a child my hands used to get so chapped and dry they bled. As Mom rubbed them with lotion I'd cry. But then they would always get better.
As I drive toward the coast, California looks that way. Her landscape, so cracked and brittle from lack of water looks ready to cry out in pain. The supposed-to-be reservoir is like a puddle in the Sahara, outlined by dead grass smattered on the surrounding hills like age spots on a withered hand. The drought has taken its toll.
Tomorrow is my day for extended personal communion with God. Rain is predicted, but everything around me, including my own heart seems to say "fat chance"! It has been a season of dryness both internally and externally.
I have two requests of God as I drive - to be able to sit in the forest in the rain. And to hear from Him. It has been a long time since I've experienced either one.
As I wake the next morning, clouds heavy with moisture seem ready to unload, but I wonder if they will be a tease. Yet in spite of traffic, wrong turns, and many doubts, I settle in my pop-up tent in the middle of the forest in the exact moment the rain begins. Childlike delight wells in my soul as I hear the sound. Not just a mere sprinkle, these drops legitimately qualify as rain. And in the surplus of joy I'm feeling, I quickly write down my experience before I forget...
Millions of overdue raindrops chatter and frolic,
collaborating to release the song of life to a parched earth.
In response,?drooping vegetation ventures out of self preservation
to expend their individual scent brought out only by the rain.
The dance awakens hibernating life. Emancipating the aroma of creation.
It is the scent of His word,
Inciting new life to come forth.
It sprouts, it breathes, it emits the fragrance?of His intention,
until Heaven and earth are one?in harmonic symphony?to the glory of God.
It's the scent of prayer.
The cry of a cracked, dry people begging for drenching rain. We offer nothing but our barrenness and He responds with the dew, the mist, the sprinkle, and the downpour. His answers come to those humble enough to ask and keep asking, expecting that He will, at some point, saturate our longing with goodness.
And when it comes, we turn our faces into His love as new life gifts the atmosphere with confirmation of His presence.
"For as the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return there
Without watering the earth.
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth.
It shall not return to me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it."
This day I receive the rain. I absorb Him. His words. His fullness. And I come away satisfied.
Colleen is an alumni of Generation 22 of The Journey.