The path around the pond is gray. The grass, normally lush this time of year, lies in brown clumps and pale green patches. Even the hanging moss looks beleaguered, drooping from dry limbs.
The pond itself is half its size and the fountain is still. A dull mechanism sits in the shallow center like a fallen robot. Muddy water ripples only in a spring breeze. While last season I trekked mud home, now there’s only dust, so fine it somehow seeps through my socks and into the crevices of my toes.
The duck family sits along a dry bank, as if the water is too stale and warm for bathing, drinking or swimming. The largest duck waddles to the edge, like an old lady dabbing her toe into a pool, then turns back to the others and quacks, as if to say the water is too warm to be refreshing. She settles herself in a shady spot free of the late afternoon sun. I like to imagine that we share the same thought, wondering when the rains will come.
Many here wait for rain, longing for it, like the imminent grace we can’t yet feel. I now feel silly carrying an umbrella and imagine saying, “Fine, God. I’ll call Your bluff. Let it pour so I’m soaked to the bone and glad about it.”
Alas, God never plays our game of bluff. And the pond recedes further to reveal a mid-bank which divides the sections in half, like a hard-boiled egg split in two. I continue my walks, contemplating the dull patches, faded leaves and shriveled berries even the birds ignore. I continue to walk, and wait, knowing that rain must come soon, though I know not when.
In scripture, someone always waits. Time after time, in so many ways, we’re told to wait upon the Lord, wait for a sign, wait for God. As I consider verse after verse, I realize that our ancient ancestors seem as impatient as we are, and they didn’t have fast food, drive-through pharmacies or Netflix.
Waiting for rain, or anything else requires a certain level of faith and trust, as well as perseverance and strength. It isn’t easy to wait, wait and wait some more, trusting that we’ll meet the love of our life; land the perfect job; receive hopeful test results; get admitted to the university, society, program, club of our choice; grow our savings; age gracefully.
Tom Petty understood this when he sang:
The waiting is the hardest part . . .
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part.
I want the wait for rain — and all else I desire — to be as easy as possible. So, for now, I leave the umbrella home. My tote bag — and my mind — are lighter. Soaking, steady rain will come again, and I’ll let it wash over me, the way God’s grace always does, exactly when we need it most.
© 2017 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks. All rights reserved.