My apologies to the Carpenters, but I like rainy days.
I spent the first half of my life in wet climates: western Canada, Germany, England, Seattle. Most of the last half has been in San Diego, with its incessant sun and persistent 70-degree weather. So when I awoke this morning to the sound of rain pouring down on the metal roof of our condo, I looked forward to cozying up on the couch in the early morning quiet, sipping my coffee, and looking out the window at the rain.
The showers from heaven nourish our parched California dirt. Four years of drought have taken their toll, even here in the temperate climes of this city tucked between beach and mountains. The raindrops remind me that God cares for us, that He won’t let us languish forever on the baked clay. Rain brings hope, life.
But as I sat in my living room, enjoying the downpour in dry comfort, my thoughts turned to others—to those for whom the rain brings not hope, but fear; not comfort, but dismal cold and struggle. I thought of the many homeless outside my walls: men and women whose best hope is to find a sheltered store entrance, at least until the library opens at ten; boys and girls whose only hope is to dry off a little before school…where they anticipate a small meal and a few hours indoors.
I think of the families living thirty miles south, in makeshift homes of plywood and leaky tarps that dot the now-muddy hillsides around Tijuana, Mexico. I’ve spent time there, helping to build new, dry, secure homes. But concrete floors and stucco walls only offer so much; they can protect from rain, but not the cold.
God makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. (Matthew 5:45)
I don’t enjoy the rain because I am good and just; they don’t dread it because they are evil. But if rain is to me a blessing, how might I pass on that blessing to those for whom it seems a curse? How can I serve, love, help those who look on the clouds not with hope but with fear?