It starts sometime after supper. A soft pattering just audible above the unbroken wave roar. Steady. Consistent. All. Night.
It’s not a rain to take notice of. Not a rain to get people talking. But it goes on. All. Night.
And next morning the garden is ankle-deep wetland and we head down to the bridge to see if the river has risen some.
And, um, yes.
Trees are caught in the guardrails and there are chunks of tar washed clean out the road and into the sea. The river is wide boiling froth and foam of torrent and tide. Dozens of fish flop in roadside puddles and dozens of people turn out like so much driftwood on the bridge and beach to gaze and to Instagram and to smile kind of stupid and awestruck at the flood wonder.
Because there’s no ignoring what the rain did. The upcountry rain that no one knew about. And the all-night right-here boring ordinary of damp and drizzle that kept filling the flood.
And I think how maybe that’s how it is with our lives? That maybe the way to flood the world with wonder is to let it rain in the dark. Let the drizzle fall steady and constant. All. Night. The boring ordinary mizzle of reminding the kids (again) to chew with their mouths closed. The unremarkable routine rain of taking out the kitchen bin and fighting for the quiet of bedtime peace and prayers. The everyday pitter-patter of wiping out sinks and wiping snot and wiping heart-slates clean and the humdrum rain-on-the-roof of paying tax and staying faithful and sort-of sticking to speed limits and not smoking dope. The soft-soft ceaseless rain of keeping a soft heart and a strong spirit, even when – especially when – no one is looking.
Because maybe all that unremarkable rain will collect – more than we can imagine – like grace and goodness in the furrows and ditches and widening waterways of a desperate world because God can turn the tide and do something remarkable with straightforward faithfulness born of simple faith. And maybe if all us unremarkable people leading unremarkable lives would let it rain all night – if we would not grow weary of doing good because in due time we will reap – later and greater we will reap – maybe then people will turn out on the beaches to see and know the remarkable, irrefutable marvel of what the prophets preached and predicted – that Jesus is our hope, and the hope of all the world.
. . .
(And another thing: I need 91 500 words for the new book I’m writing, and the deadline is mid-August. That’s a lot of words right there, and not a lot of time. You could pray for me – please? – should I happen to come to mind. Pray that God would let the right words rain and rain, and that he would channel them into something true, excellent and beautiful. Thanks SO very much!)