We need the rain! #BibleJournaling

2 Comments

Who would think, after the long, cold, wet winter and spring we’ve had, that our province (B.C.) would be panting for rain? Yet the hundreds of wildfires that have been burning for several weeks now have us praying for the relief of a physical downpour.

Hubby and I spent last weekend at a series of gospel music concerts in Red Deer, Alberta. Our drive home, though on a route well away from the fires, took us through kilometre after kilometre of smoke-filled air.

 

And so today I am attracted to the Bible art journal entry I made on July 6th. It was in response to this refreshing verse:

“For I will pour water on him who is thirsty,
And floods on the dry ground;
I will pour My Spirit on your descendants,
And my blessing on your offspring.” Isaiah 44:3.

The verse brought to mind a cloud pouring drops of rain. Rain is falling on the willows (Isaiah 44:4) which are already green because they live beside the river.

My Bible study in relation to it had me hunting for passages that spoke of how Holy Spirit’s rain benefits us. I printed the verse references inside the droplets and the description beside:

A Gift – Acts 2:38
For Prophecy – 1 Peter 1:10-12
On Young and Old – Joel 2:28
We can ask – Luke 11:13
Life-Giver – Romans 8:11
Baptizer – 1 Corinthians 12:13
Prays for us – Romans 8:26,27
Spirit of Grace and Supplication – Zechariah 12:19
Helper – John 14:6; 16:7
Teacher – John 2:27: Luke 12:12
For Power – Luke 24:29; Acts 1:8

I used Pigma Micron pens for the drawing and lettering, and pencil crayons to add color.

IMG_0003

Bible Art Journal for Isaiah 44:3 – (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

Our surroundings—the tinder-dry forests and grasses, the smoke-filled air—are eloquent reminders of how we need physical rain. Do we as readily recognize our need for the rain of the Spirit? How might our spiritual drought manifest itself?

Walking in the rain

22 Comments

When the glory of fall has passed, I still walk, often in the rain.

I have heard about how rain affects people in different locations differently; some are downright jubilant about its coming. I wonder if living in the soggy southwest of Canada (/ northwest of the U.S.) would dampen their enthusiasm.

img_2675

“mallard couples glide where yesterday / they waddled…” (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Walking in the rain

“… the rain … is pouring down, humming and tapping the floor. … It is getting fragrant. I am barefoot, dancing, jumping and running madly.” – Rizawa F. Syeda-Kazmi

Trees writhe, kowtow to squally air
rain beats tantrum gusts

races down roofline, puddles dance
the forecast—walk later, not now.

I leave between sobs
last tears damp and curl my hair.

Sky is soon weeping again
we are deluged in her woes

my hooded anorak
listens to the wet complaints.

Rain’s ally, the muddy Nicomekl
has claimed the flood plain

mallard couples glide where yesterday
they waddled through squishy grass.

I press on, blurry-eyed
needing wipers for my glasses.

Front steps glisten. Shake the misery
off leaden coat, hang it by the fire

and recall, incredulous
desert story of rain celebrations

where men drive to ditches, jump in
dance crazy, open-armed when sky drops water.

© 2013 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)
First published in Time of Singing – Volume 40 Intermezzo, Fall 2013

**************

PF-2This post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by the one-and-only Jama, at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.

Sock Hop

11 Comments

On Tuesday I took my walk after a heavy morning shower. On a section of the pathway beside the creek I saw snail after snail. There must have been 10 or more! I bet I know why they were out there.

Sock Hop poem with snail collage

 

In case you can’t read the fancy font:

Sock Hop

The downpour drumbeats on the whorls of rooftop
irresistible call to a rain dance sock hop

V. Nesdoly (all rights reserved)

****************

Snail Facts

For those more interested in facts than whimsy, here are a few snail facts (from Snail-world.com and About.com):

  • The trail of mucous a snail leaves behind is a lubricant to reduce friction against  the surfaces over which it travels. Snail mucous won’t make you sick.
  • A snail moves about 50 yards per hour or 1.3 cm. per second—slowly but steadily.
  • Snails can see and sense sound vibrations. Upper tentacles are the eyes, the lower ones pick up vibrations.
  • Snails are hermaphrodites, that is, they have both male and female parts. But they must mate with another snail to reproduce (lay eggs).
  • A snail’s lifespan (dependent on habitat and species) varies from 5 to even 25 years.
  • Snails are usually nocturnal and if they’re out during the day, don’t like bright sunshine (which is probably why they were out dancing on our cloudy Tuesday morning).

Poetry Friday Logo

This post is part of Poetry Friday, hosted this week by the effervescent Catherine at Catherine Johnson.

Christmas on the West Coast

12 Comments

Reindeer Christmas decorations

Christmas on the West Coast

Twigs stunning in diamonds
doors lined running pearls
scribble reindeer all lit up
under Christmas tree swirls.

Christmas light decorations

Balconies wearing ruby
emerald, agate bling
like necklaces, bracelets
scarves, pins and a ring.

Stained glass window

Roof lines cascade ice lights
twinkle bells and bright stars.
Windows beam the old story.
Velvet antlers deck cars.

Manger scene in lights

On the city hall rooftop
in stitches of white
Wise Men come ever nearer
star-led through the night.

Night scene with lit-up tree

In the rain plaza glistens
all that’s missing is snow
to soften the sparkle
of a silent night glow.

© 2013 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

***************

I love Christmas lights! How can you tell?

Poetry Friday LogoWe do sometimes have snow. We actually had a dusting earlier in the week that lasted for a few days but this afternoon the rains came back. So we’ll take what we get and look on the bright side. For the wet just adds to the sparkle, making it all the prettier.

This post is part of Poetry Friday, hosted today by the eclectic and always interesting Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference.

August prompt: rain

2 Comments
Rain on roses in June

Raindrops on roses – in June

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.

Noah's Ark - artist unknown

Noah’s Ark – Artist unknown

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.

God is generally credited with sending rain (Job 5:10; Psalm 65:10; Amos 5:8). And He sends it indiscriminately on good and bad alike (Matthew 5:45).

Moses, when talking about Canaan describes it as “…a land … which drinks water from the rain of heaven” (Deuteronomy 11:11) and calls rain one of God’s “good treasures” (Deuteronomy 28:12).

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).
House of Sand - Gutenberg project

House Built On Sand – Gutenberg project

  • 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!