Here in the Lower Mainland of B.C. we haven’t had a drop of rain for all of July. This is a record for the first calendar month ever without any rain recorded at the Vancouver weather station!
By now lawns that aren’t watered are looking brown and thirsty. Forest fires are a very real threat due to the tinder-dry conditions. Still most local weather forecasters echo the bias of sun-lovers saying, when predicting showers, “Our luck has run out,” or “Not a great forecast,” even after such a long dry spell! That’s testimony, I guess, to how rain is no novelty around here.
The Bible’s first mention of rain is not a happy one. The forty-day rain that flooded the earth resulted in mass destruction of land and people. Only Noah and his family survived that flood – Genesis 7 & 8.
Most of the time, though, Bible writers view rain as a blessing. No doubt their views were influenced by rain’s scarcity in the Middle East. And so its coming is usually reason for celebration.
Rain is also used as a symbol in the Bible.
- Isaiah describes the way the rain and snow fall from heaven and water the earth as a picture of the way God’s word goes across the world accomplishing spiritual purposes (Isaiah 55:10,11).
- The prophet Joel equates the predictability of the rainy season with how faithful God will be to restore His people from waywardness and spiritual drought when they repent and return to Him (Joel 2:23).
- In one of Jesus’ stories rain serves as a test to show the foundational integrity of two houses—one built on sand, the other on rock. It’s a parable that pictures how important it is to build our lives on truth (Matthew 7:24-28).
What does the mention of rain conjure in your mind? Perhaps you experienced the spring floods in western Canada this year and rain has become a symbol of terror and destruction. Or maybe your experience is of a dry climate where rain is welcomed with dancing and celebration.
This month, I invite you to write about rain.
You might want to create a fictional piece where where rain plays a haunting part in the setting (like W. Somerset Maugham did in the short story “Rain”).
Maybe you’ll write about your feelings for or against rain, or what rain symbolizes to you physically, emotionally, or spiritually in a poem.
Or you might want to write about a true life experience when rain saved—or wrecked—the day.
pit, pit, pit, pat, pat, pit, pat…
No, that’s not rain. It’s the sound of my fingers on the keyboard, dancing up some literary rain!