Manna From Mayhem || The Heat Is On, Part 2

News flash: It’s still hot. Big surprise, right? As we’ve already discussed (and by "discussed", I mean I typed it and you read it…totally a legit discussion), I am not a fan of intense heat. Most of us aren’t. Again, I’m a plethora of insightfulness. It’s a wonder you haven’t stopped reading already. Thanks for sticking with me.

My favorite relief from the heat is rain. Ahhhh, rain. I love it.  Love.  It.  The smell, the sound, the steaming asphalt afterwards. It’s a wonderful thing. And it is in high demand right now in my area of the country. Mississippi is one big dust ball these days. If you have a prayer to spare, say it for our farmers. And, if the desire to shake your booty descends on you, please do so in your yard in the form of a rain dance.

I notice that often rain is referred to in the negative. I believe it was the ever-quotable Dolly Parton who said “…if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain”. But, why is rain seen as something we must bear? Something to just get through for sunnier times on the other side? Rain can be soothing and soft and saturating and reflective and cooling. The trees and flowers seek it out and drink it in. It washes away dirt and grime and tears and heartache. And, it will eventually wash away the fish-shelter-shaped spray paint from my driveway (applied by my normally intelligent husband in a moment of what I can only refer to as complete and total lunacy). Rain is way more important than anything I’ve got going on in my little spot on this Earth. Our farmers will surely inform you that rain today would be a celebrated thing.

I hear you with your moaning about getting your shoes wet and your groaning about your ruined hair. Me too. I’ve definitely given God my stern disapproval on some rainy days. The torrential rain that pounded my roof this year during what was supposed to be Celie’s outdoor birthday party left me feeling a little offended, at best. I certainly felt Celie’s party was dampened, and the money we spent on bounce house rental would’ve been better spent on umbrellas and a parking valet. But, she had a great birthday. Her friends showed up with big smiles and celebrated her. The rain didn’t ruin a thing, except my perfect vision of what the day was supposed to be. We will likely never forget that party, and when I finally let my resentment toward the rain die away I found a little girl who was happy as a pig in fresh, rain-induced mud.

I get that rain can be a downer, Noah. But, when was the last time we looked past the feigned dreadfulness of it and just enjoyed it? It is within us to change the way we view such things. (When we are floating on a boat with stinky animals for over a month due to said rain, we’ll have us a little pity party, m’kay!)

I vividly remember a day a few years ago when I waded through the masses at the Walmart exit, stared out at the unexpected and forceful storm, and encouraged my daughter to run with me through the monsoon to our car. She was elated, and we laughed with every shoe-soaking step. And, when I stole a glance back at those waiting at the exit, I caught many of them smiling. They were probably laughing at me instead of with me, but I hope the laughter bubbled up because they lived a happy moment through a squealing, waterlogged child…and her impractical mother.

Rain can be what ruins your parade or what makes it memorable. It’s all in our attitude. So, when God does finally send us some liquid gold, smile and appreciate it. And maybe even stand under the drops and get drenched. Your children or grandchildren will think you are the greatest individual alive. Whether you need to wash away your troubles or soak in the joy, rain will be your provision. And, if you aren’t up for dancing a jig in the outdoor shower, at least give yourself permission to do a little puddle jumping once it’s over. You will not regret one wet strand of hair or sodden little toe. Guaranteed.

Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. - Deuteronomy 32:2

Give yourself a little high five if you noticed the ladybug at the bottom of this image.  Way to go, you good observer, you!

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