27 September 2007
the return of the rains
The rains finally came.
Mark it down. It was Wednesday evening, the 26th of September. And the rains finally came.
Thunder cracked and lightning lit up the ominous African sky as the first rains of the spring fell heavily from the sky.
For a moment, I considered the poetic implications of the rains, how maybe God was reminding me that He refreshes in His time.
Then it hit me. The sky darkened in the late afternoon. The air then cooled and the rains came only a few hours later. Andre passed away in the late afternoon. Only then, as a cool wind blew through the room where Andre breathed his last, did the merciful skies open up and release their bounty.
I had been so consumed with my own “dry season” that I had failed to recognize that Andre was walking through quite his own desert. Only upon that recognition did I finally open up to the perspective that God had for me. The real dry season was not mine and the suffering and difficulty that I had was nothing compared to that of my friend. And I could not see that at his bedside as he was writhing in pain. I could only see that in the way that the puddles formed, in the simple sounds that came with the changing atmosphere.
I don’t really believe that the rain fell for Andre, although I do find the association to be quite beautiful. Bedridden for weeks, I can only assume that he is as refreshed as the parched earth in the presence of his Creator. I don’t think the rain was the tears of God falling with the tears of those of us who loved him. But I do find the timing comforting.
Wednesday night, lying in bed, listening to the rain fall melodically on the tin roof, I could only think that Andre had finally been delivered from his season of misery and confusion. Left in his place was a simple reminder that we all have dry seasons. And that, in the hands of the Almighty, there is always an appointed time for the rains to return.