Monday, June 28, 2010
More and more I am learning to love the rain. Lately, if it is over 75 degrees and raining, I can't help myself: I have to go and stand out in it, soaking it in, letting it fall on my face, my hair, my shoulders, and run over me. It doesn't matter that we have had more rainy days than sunny ones this summer. I may complain that I can't get out in the garden because it's raining, but next thing I know I'm drawn out into the rain.
And when it is too cold, or it pours down so hard that I can't stand in it, I love to sit inside and watch it run down the window pane, backed by a fantastic display of lightning and the music of thunder.
In our modern society, we tend to think of rain as bad and sun as good. Rain keeps you inside where it's dry; sun begs you to go out and play in it. But we who do not live a farmer's life forget: the rain is every bit as important to us as the sun.
There is a verse in the Bible that says, "He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." I have often heard this interpreted as saying that good and bad things happen to all people whether or not they are righteous, the sun representing the good, the rain representing the bad. But when you remember that Jesus, when he spoke these words, lived in a largely agrarian society, you realize that they would have understood this differently. The sun and the rain are both good, both necessary to the health of a crop, therefore good things happen to all people whether or not they are righteous. God pours out his blessings on all, perhaps to draw them to himself, perhaps simply because he loves them.
So the next time it rains, especially a nice gentle rain with big fat drops on a warm summer day, put on shorts and a tank top and go stand in it. Let it run over you, washing you, refreshing you. Lift your face to the sky and let it run down your cheeks. Open your arms and let it drench you. And remember, that the rain, just like the sun, is a beautiful gift.
"... Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."
-- Matthew 5:44-45, NIV