Noticings – September 8, 2021


September 8, 2021

We are in the midst of some desperately needed rain. (I needed to write this Noticings last week so I can’t be sure if it happened, but the weather forecasts are never wrong, right?) Lawns have been turning brown, crops are not getting what they need to flourish, and people have been uncomfortably hot and humid for weeks and weeks. The heat let go a few days ago, and now comes the rain. Finally!

It reminds me of a great scene from a favourite movie of mine. It’s a Steve Martin movie called “Leap of Faith.” I’m not sure if it’s a fave because it’s about a preacher, or because people say I bear a passing resemblance to Steve (probably both), but I love the movie. Basic plot is a flashy, phoney, revival-tent-preacher’s travelling entourage has a mechanical breakdown and is stranded in a small town in rural America. So they decide to set up and do their ‘show’ to bilk the locals out of their money. (Spoiler alert – the preacher sees the light by the end!) The town is a farming community experiencing serious drought.

So in the middle of a ‘sermon’ our preacher prompts the crowd to ask the question everyone wants the answer to: When is it going to rain? Masterfully, he turns the question around and instead of making it about physical rain he makes it about metaphorical rain, lists all the things that are hard in life, and then says, “When’s it gonna rain? I say ‘When’s it gonna stop?!’”

I’m feeling a bit like that these days. We’re in a loooong season of Covid rain. When’s it gonna stop? Unlike the movie preacher I can’t sell you any answers to your questions. But I’ll give you this bit of wisdom for free. “Every storm runs out of rain.” It’s a marvellous quote from Maya Angelou. It doesn’t solve our immediate concerns, either about weather or life, but it is deeply true. It’s true about the rain we’re (hopefully) experiencing outside right now. Every storm runs out of rain. It was true about the wonderful biblical story of Noah. Yes, it (metaphorically) rained for 40 days and nights, causing great hardship, but every storm runs out of rain. And it’s true about our pandemic rain. Every storm runs out of rain. And do you know what follows rain? Sunshine, light, and growth. Oh, it can’t come soon enough for us. But it’s coming. Every storm runs out of rain.

Rev. Larry