Three exclamation points? Ahh, this is desert. Here, rain is an Event. In a “normal” year, this desert gets 10 – 12 inches a year. Desert lives, as it were, in perpetual drought. So when it rains—well, yesterday, as a good shower abated, the children were outside, jumping and yelling and pointing and getting deliciously wet. Some of us more “adult” folks would likely have enjoyed doing the same.
Our three western religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam—were born and grew up in the Middle East, in desert country. So in the mystical side of those traditions, rain is a symbol for Grace. Grace is, basically, an undeserved gift from the Divine One. Like rain, a needed gift. The symbol is apt.
Water is essential for life. Likewise, Grace. Indeed, the great ones experience all life as pure gift. It cannot be earned or in any way deserved. The only true response to such a gift is acceptance with gratitude. Further, all the elements essential for life on this planet have been equally provided. Human beings don’t always know how to receive or develop those elements, and we don’t always experience abundance because of our ignorance, but the essentials are present, divinely given.
Rain makes a difference in living, even beyond sustenance. It may not be appreciated or even recognized the same day, as rain can cause temporary havoc. With a little time, the plants recover and grow, the animals and humans do better. Grace, too, can upend things for a while, yet human beings also grow through their response to it. Let’s watch for those moments of enrichment.
On one point, the symbol doesn’t hold. Rain is sporadic and not always predictable. Grace is steady, always flowing, always being given. As the New Testament says, “Rain falls on the just and the unjust.” We do not always recognize it, we take it for granted and ignore it, we may not know how to accept it. Yet our fullness of well being depends on our gracious acceptance of the Grace-given possibilities in life.
It’s raining!!! Let’s be like the children and dance in the puddles!