From a friend in the Middle East
“He waters the land from His upper chambers; the land is satisfied by the fruit of His work.” Psalm 104:13.
Rain is a wonderful thing. We have been waiting for it for months. The clouds have been growing and soaring by barrenly for weeks. Today, they were gathering, grey and suggestive, and the smell of rain in the air made my students crazy. Here, rain smells like dust: rainstorms stir up dust from the earth, and bring down all the dust suspended in the air, and so we smelled it and thought, “Rain!”. I suppose wet dust smells different from dry dust.
The rain didn’t come and didn’t come. The clouds covered the sun, then passed. Energy levels soared, and productivity plummeted in the anticipation. And nothing happened. By the time school let out, I suppose we had given up hope; half my class stayed in, ploughing away diligently at their homework, with a focus that wasn’t in evidence half an hour before. And now they have all gone home, and now the rain has come.
It came softly, blending with the twilight, washing the dust off the olive trees: they are silvery again. I am silvery again, too. Rain is refreshing. Rain is cleansing. Rain reminds me of God’s sustaining care. His grace is sufficient for me. I needed to have some dustiness washed off of me this afternoon. Dusty leaves can’t see the sun well, so they can’t work well. Dusty people are the same.
Life isn’t all about productivity. My sister and I stood under the eaves of the school, drinking in the rain with our eyes. With our ears. With our souls. We sang. We sighed. We worshiped. We lived together for a few minutes of just being in the wonder of rain.
I hope to have more time for being, and wonder, and sitting. My Arabic class has finished, giving me afternoons to do school work and evenings free, or vice versa. More importantly, it should free up mental energy as well. Language learning is disproportionally tiring when all you do is sit and listen, and think, and talk. It takes more much energy to sit in a strange language. Now that energy will be available to put into my lesson plans and teaching. Please remember the kids and teachers here in your prayers, and this region which so much needs refreshing and guidance in all the changes.
May you have time to watch beauty. May you have energy and grace to do what you are called to. May you have joy and peace.
“He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3