I woke this morning 2 hours before I needed to be up to let my wife’s caregiver in. That’s been happening more and more lately. I don’t know why, but usually, I don’t mind it. It’s quiet in the house. As I sat up I heard the sound of rain on the sheet metal covering where the swamp coolers used to be.
Unfortunately, this morning, as soon as she saw me sit up, my wife asked for a pain pill through quiet tears. I gave it to her then moved to the front of the house to heat a cup of coffee and water the plants. The last part of that routine is to open the front curtains. This morning I sat and watched the rain come down as now it was loud enough that I could hear it on the roof.
Over the rain, I could hear my wife crying from the bedroom at the other end of the house. I laid down beside her, my body on the bed and my backside on her power chair that was conveniently parked up against the bed. I held her and prayed
for her. Every time I thought she was drifting off to sleep, I could hear the rain. I opened the curtain a crack to let some light in as the sun began to rise over the mountains behind the house so that I could read the medication bottles. Finally, I gave her the rest of her morning medication as the rain stopped and she pulled down her sleep mask and drifted off to a noisy sleep.
I’m alone again as I pray that God and the meds will help her rest. Ahh, the sounds of rain come back. And when it’s not raining, I can hear the finches outside wake up and the wind is blowing the raindrops from the pine tree outside my window onto the house. So, I still have the rain.
We love the rain. I think about my daughter driving an ambulance in it. But her dad’s harping when she was learning to drive and her awareness of the importance of what she’s doing keeps her careful. When we lived in the Midwest, we would sit on our porch and watch the rain. Here, I would push the motorcycle out of the carport and set out the chaise lounges and we would lay under the cover of the carport and watch the rain until we got too cold or one of us fell asleep.
Rain means many things to many people. For much of the world, it means food. In the high deserts of northwest Arizona, it means flooding, and weeds that will be fuel for fire come summer. I’d much rather maintain a Midwest lawn than desert weeds. But whatever it means to people, rain is universal. It’s cleansing (don’t look at my car now). It brings life, even if that’s weeds. Much of Matthew chapter 5 as Jesus is just getting cranked up in what we call the Sermon on the Mount, is talking about attitude. Verses 43 through 45 could be interpreted as saying, get along, we’re all in this together.
Whether you have the luxury of just listening to the rain or you have to drive an ambulance in it or whatever else it means to you, let it be a reminder. Rain is universal. It falls on all of us. Like many of life’s challenges, nobody is immune. By nature, we are self-centered (our brains naturally are focused on our agendas and issues and struggles). But let the rain remind you that we are all indeed in this together and a little awareness of your neighbors and the compassion to go with it, will go a long way.