Walking in the rain. Running in the rain. Crying in the rain.
Sounds romantic, right?
I’m sitting here dripping all over my computer chair in the aftermath of doing those very things and I can tell you it wasn’t fun at all.
Yeah, I saw the clouds when I started out on my morning prayer walk, but here in central Florida you can never tell when they’re gonna just lie around all day threatening but never produce. Sometimes I feel like I live in a bubble and it rains everywhere but my neighborhood. You continuously alter your plans for rain that never comes. You want to yell at the overcast skies Poop or get off the pot!
Oops. If you have delicate sensibilities, please overlook that last statement. Sometimes crude says it best.
Anyhow, I was about 30 minutes away from home when the first fat drops came. Within seconds they crescendoed into a deluge. I looked hopefully down the road for Spouse’s rescue vehicle; he’s usually on the ball scouting rain-outs on my regular walks or bike outings and like my own personal Daniel Boone, sends out the cavalry immediately.
Then I remembered. He was sick in bed and wouldn’t even know if a typhoon hit.
So I trudged down the road like a drowned rat. I had to stick my cell phone in my underwear to try to keep it dry. A drowned rat with a rectangular rump.
No human life was visible anywhere, although the ducks at the pond appeared to be having quite a frolic in the downpour. A dog ran across the road and took shelter beneath a house. I briefly considered joining him.
Then I turned a corner and came upon a silver car, engine running, sitting at the curb in front of a house. Hooray! The driver was in there! Double hooray! It was a woman! (I wouldn’t have considered getting in a car with a strange man, but this scenario certainly held promise.)
I began to think the chances of my getting offered a ride home were looking pretty good when I saw her eyeing me as I approached. But then the worst thing happened. She turned away. She began looking everywhere but at me. Like I didn’t even exist.
Body language was clear: Go away. You’ll find no help here.
Even when I walked within one foot of her car window and paused, pulling the dripping hair from my face and staring imploringly in at her, she kept looking straight ahead at the rain pounding on her windshield and refused to acknowledge my presence or my plight.
Hope drained away like water in a bathtub.
And then I thought about the homeless woman that I drove past yesterday. Her sign said, “Need food for family. Anything will help.”
Did I stop? No. Did I help? I didn’t.
She’s walking through the rain in her life every day. Drowning in the downpour. Yet I keep sitting in my nice dry car staring straight ahead, my body language clear: Go away. You’ll find no help here.
But I can change that. I can. Papa’s message to me through the raindrops hit home. I can acknowledge the presence and plight of her and others like her. I can. And I will. Because I know all too well how awful it feels to be soaked to the bone and without hope – even temporarily.
How about you? Have you walked in any rain lately that opened your eyes – and maybe even your heart – to others splashing through the puddles beside you?