Wednesday, April 30, 2014

WHEN THE RAIN RAGES ON

By Angeline M Duran Santiago

I think of that someone you and I know. She had just started to walk down the slippery stairs. The pouring rain has failed to cease since the night before and even the handle bars going downward into the streets are filled with raindrops. She tries to hold on with one hand, while the other is attempting to open her umbrella. Funny, how, she struggles to open it for a few minutes, and still, even with her new raincoat, the power of the downpour is so stubborn, she is soaked, almost completely as she walks away and down the street. She faces home and begins the journey, with a heavy heart and heavy footsteps, but she pushes through the raging rain, and walks on. Yes, she is still holding on the useless umbrella, and the rain has soaked her face, but she faces home and walks on.

The squeak in her walk signals soaked feet because the puddles are so many it is impossible to walk around them or ignore them. Her pant legs hug her calves and she shivers. Spring has pretended to show up, but the cold drops falling on her back, shout at Spring, "Liar!" and she walks on. She is tired. Work was not that difficult, but she is tired. 

Thoughts of what awaits her in her humble cottage make her heart ache. Wondering if the dishes were done, the meal started, or maybe just placed aside, she wonders how much more work awaits her when she walks through her home. Hungry bodies welcome her and the first question is, "When will dinner be ready?" Exhaustion wants to embrace her but she has overcome this routine, and enters the kitchen like a champion to begin what must be done, dinner. Her soaked clothes, remind her shivering flesh, get out of your drenched apparel and put on your cooking get up.

At another time, dinner would have been ready earlier. Sure, she had a different job and got home earlier. Times have changed, life changed, got a little harder, and well, here we are, seven o'clock in the evening and boiling water in the pot for some rice. She begins the meal confident it will be done quickly. Happy it is all coming along well, she walks away to sit down for a few minutes.

I can tell you this story ends well. It is played out daily. Some days with rain and some days with sunshine lighting the way home. I'll tell you a little bit more. Dinner is ready, served and enjoyed and this woman sits down to watch either TV or her kids play games. She joins at times, and laughs. You see, at the end of the day, the smiles on her kids and her family make all the efforts and sacrifice of the day worth it. Somehow, there was enough strength for the day, there was enough umph to get through and that's when she smiles a smile only Heaven understands.

Somehow, she gets it. God has made a way once more. God has provided. God had given her the ability to get things done. She reminisces about the time just today as she waited for the bus, as she sang out her prayer, without fear or shame. When the rain rages on, pouring with fierce determination, she sang, she prayed, she thanked God, she praised and surrendered herself and her heart there on the street while the cars swooshed by and the puddles splashed upon her pants and jacket. The rain fell like claws on soft skin, but still, even when her heart was heavy, she sang a song of trust, hope and faith.

Lord, I know there are many moms, and even dads, that work all day and still go home to help their kids with homework, get dinner ready, buy groceries, and hopefully find some time to just relax. I know there are parents that are stay at home mom and dads, and their job at home with the house and the kids is over bearing, exhausting, and just overtakes them. I ask tonight that as the rain pours heavily as if the ground is desperately crying out from thirst to be quenched, that tonight you would send a downpour of rain that powerfully falls non-stop upon tired moms and dads that have not mouthed their needs today, but need you.

 I pray for this rain to be the rain of your presence, your glory, your strength, falling passionately and without end upon them as they ready their kids for bed, and as they find the way to get to sleep themselves. I pray for parents that stay at home and take care of their children. Bless them. Let the rains of your presence break through the ceilings of their homes, and let your power pour down.  Lord, I ask that the rains of your encouragement, strength and love drench grandparents that care for and help raise their grandchildren while their grown children go to work. Bless these grandparents who need your strength physically and mentally. Provide what they need, in Jesus name, Amen.

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