Monday, March 30, 2009

Rain Songs

Dear friends,

I love rain! Yesterday morning, while I was still snuggled under the blankets in bed, I rejoiced to hear the sudden ripple, rumble, and then roar of rain on the roof. I thought, "Rain, welcome!" There is no "Rain, rain, go away!" here most of the time, unless we're planning a picnic or heading out to soccer practice.

I tried to think of an impromptu poem to replace "Rain, rain, go away!" but I couldn't. So as I emerged from the bedroom, I settled on chanting, "The rain is raining all around / It rains on fields and trees / It rains on the umbrellas here..." My mind went blank on the last line, but Micah chimed in, "And on the ships at sea." Lydia, accustomed to my random poeticizing, asked if I had made that up. "No, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote it," I replied. Micah added, "It's from The Child's Garden of Verses." His tattered copy is wedged into his backpack for its weekly trip to our home school co-op classes, where English teachers take poetry seriously.

I love rain! I remember as a teenager in Maryland dancing in glorious ponds of puddles. We lived at the top of a steep hill on a street oddly named Stillway Garth. Down the back steps, curved behind our Garth, lay Stillway Court -- which became Stillway Pond in a decent deluge. I still play in the gutters with my kids during a good storm, with "Singing in the Rain" and "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" in my head. Rain!

That same morning that I awoke to the delicious sound of rain, Micah spotted a female cardinal in the magnolia tree in the backyard, and inspected his pot of morning glory sprouts waiting to climb the iron grill on the front of our house. Both need rain!

And so it rained. Poured, really. I had to drop the kids off at the side door of church, then park the van, not in the soggy soccer field, but in a real parking lot. Thad sheltered me with an umbrella so at least I wasn't too soggy as I entered in for worship.
Jesse Phillips preached from Hebrews on the fruitfulness of faith, causing yet another rain song to trickle through my head -- with a little tune I made up years ago to even more ancient words: "Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you." Hosea 10:13
Rain: refreshing, softening, nourishing. A gift! Sing a rain song!
"You heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it; I, the LORD, have created it." Isaiah 45:8

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