Rain. Sometimes we love it and sometimes we hate it. It truly depends on the time of year and how long it lasts. This summer has been hot and dry. The pretty green has begun to take on the hot, dry faded look. The blue sky is less blue, the grass has that “not enough water” look, and the air never seems to cool down.
Enter a summer storm! Ahhhhh, refreshment! The rain began last evening. It was heavenly to go to bed with the sound of a soft summer rain falling outside the window. Needing to use the blanket to cover up as I slept was a little slice of heaven. Waking to the continuous sound of rain… comforting. The sounds, the feel, the smell, the chill… they all evoke emotions and memories in me. So, I’ve spent a bit of time this morning reflecting on those.
The first thing I thought of as I awoke this morning was the sound of the rain. Suddenly, I was at camp, laying in my sleeping bag on my cot, trying to keep warm as the rain fell outside our shelter. Then I was at the lake. Laying in the middle bedroom on the bunk bed, listening to the rain outside, hitting the leaves as it fell. Every other sound seems to disappear as the rain takes the forefront. For a moment, I was transported back in time to a place and a memory that make me smile.
As I bundled up and sat on the patio with my coffee and iPad, I thought about another sweet rain memory. The Lake! I loved a rainy day at the lake! There is nothing cooler than swimming in the rain! The water seems so warm compared to the air temperature! The surface of the lake seemed to be calmer on a rainy day. After swimming, we would get out and change into warm, snuggly clothes and then hang out in the cabin… fire in the fireplace, hot chocolate and games. Hours and hours of card and board games! Popcorn was usually on the menu, as well! I recall one weekend when we headed to the lake, my parents knowing it was going to be rainy both days, bought us brand new color books! As a young girl, there was nothing cooler! Mine was Cinderella! The sound of the rain on the cabin roof was so comforting and tranquil as we colored and enjoyed quiet family time.
A rainy day at camp was really a nice reprieve… if it was only for a day or so! Garbage bag hikes through the wet forest! A fire in the dining hall fireplace! Hot chocolate as a treat after the rain hike! Grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch! And the best part of all…. a canoe ride down the bay on the calm lake with a gentle falling rain… serenading the residents along the shore as we paddled along. I can close my eyes and remember like it was yesterday!
I love the rain because it seems to clear things out. My car that looked very dirty yesterday, looks clean today! The grass is a bit greener! The air feels fresh and clear. The leaves don’t have that dry, dusty look to them. The plants are singing a resounding “thank you” to the heavens for the extra bit of nourishment and reprieve from the heat. It’s like God is pouring an extra portion of grace on all of us… healing grace, gentle grace, loving grace, unearned grace, epic grace. And with no strings attached.
I’ll take it! A gift that requires nothing in return, yet gives us so much. Refreshing… grace-filled rain.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
And I once was lost but now I’m found
Was blind but now I see so clearly
And Hallelujah, grace like rain
Falls down on me
And Hallelujah, all my stains
Are washed away, they’re washed away.
(Todd Agnew – Grace Like Rain)