After The Rain

The sun came out today for a while in between thunderstorms, including a massive one that blew through Austin and its surrounding area this past Sunday.  

We live on a hill and have large tiered flowerbeds in our back yard, so when the rain is really pouring down it creates an awesome waterfall.  

I always get this weird sort of satisfaction from walking around in my back yard after a rain storm, especially when the sun comes out and our plants and flowers begin to respond.  

But mostly I just love watching our drainage system do its thing.  It's soothing. 

There's generally a small stream that will form and make its way through our rock landscaping and then into an a main drain that will carry it away down the hill and ultimately to the main gutter. 

I've been thinking about things like my drain more deeply than usual.  I know, it's odd but hear me out.  

The main reason why I found it so soothing to watch the rain water trickle is that while most of the it is being carried away, what is left behind is a well-watered garden of plants and flowers, ready for the sun to beam life into them.  

In the moment of the storm, it can often look like my whole yard is going to be washed away.  And even immediately afterward it can look pretty saturated and swampy.  But then the water begins draining away, and within an afternoon it can look as though nothing happened. 

This whole Corona-Crisis has felt like a storm that just doesn't seem to end.  Right when it feels like the sun is going to come out to stay, it starts raining again, and then the thunder and lightning come.  

But I'm starting to realize that no matter what it floods, the water from this particular storm will one day drain away and the ground will dry.  And then we'll get a chance to see what responds to the sun that will surely shine then.  We'll get to see what grows and thrives after the rain.  

Today I'm choosing to see the world this way.  I'll hold on to the words of Fr. Richard Rohr who once wrote: 
How we see will largely determine what we see and whether it can give us joy or make us pull back with an emotionally stingy and resistant response. 
You have a choice to make when the waters from the storm threaten to overrun the gardens you so carefully constructed before the rain came.  

You can do everything you can to try to barricade them from the rising water, or you can just trust that whatever is left after the rain will be able to grow in ways you never thought possible. 

Maybe like me you'll think of the story of Noah and the Great Flood from the book of Genesis.  

After the rain, the flood waters eventually subsided and the dove Noah released from the boat returned with hope gripped in its beak... in the form of a plant that had begun to grow again.   

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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