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When You Are Praying for Rain, Do You Pack your Umbrella?

To celebrate my Dad’s 84th birthday I packed up to fly to Texas and came to that point in my routine where I go out to the car to get my umbrella. Suddenly the irony hit me…I’m packing an umbrella to fly to Texas?? Pictures of bronzed skies and dying cattle played in my head.


To celebrate my Dad’s 84th birthday I packed up to fly to Texas and came to that point in my routine where I go out to the car to get my umbrella. Suddenly the irony hit me…I’m packing an umbrella to fly to Texas?? Pictures of bronzed skies and dying cattle played in my head.

Here in South Carolina I’ve felt twinges of survivor’s guilt as family and fiends and the nightly newscasts have broadcast pictures of dried up rivers, raging fires in rear view mirrors, horizons black with smoke, plagues of grasshoppers devouring every green leaf in sight, day after day or triple digit misery and a long range forecast predicting more heat and drought into 2012. Forget the umbrella, I thought. Then that voice we know so well whispered, “But haven’t you been praying for rain?”

In fact, we have earnestly and frequently prayed for rain for poor Texas. I paused…then proceeded to fetch my umbrella.

On day one in Houston I knocked on Mom and Dad’s door. They had no idea I was coming. While I waited the four layer German Chocolate cake I’d made with double icing tilted slightly, smeared down the door and splatted on the floor. Minus the one chunk that fell off the plate, my friend Vivian and I patted it back together, dug out the candle and re-lit it. It ranked an F in presentation but still an A in deliciousness. My Dad joked about his German Chocolate Up-side Down Cake.

On day two I drove out to our former home to see how things looked. Dozens of (probably dead) azaleas had been dug up leaving vast expanses of exposed, dried clay. Other azaleas were burnt to a crispy reddish brown. Two large oaks stood dead and dying as well as several other trees. Down at the lake about two dozen clinically depressed ducks ringed the shrunken pool of duck-ankle deep water. The usually sassy, quacky mallards stood hunched and silent on the dried mud, staring out at the remaining pools of their lovely lake. You could just hear the silent cries, “What do we do? What do we do??”

And then…it rained. Actually it started right as, across town, my uncle died. With a wink my aunt said that, upon her husband’s arrival, Rod’s first request was to ask God to please send rain to Texas. It rained again the next day. And the next. It was headline news across the country.

And I had my umbrella.

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Lael writes and speaks about faith and culture and how God renews our vision and desire for Him and his Kingdom. She earned a master's degree (MAT) in the history of ideas from the University of Texas at Dallas, and has taught Western culture and apologetics at secular and Christian schools and colleges. Her long-term experience with rheumatoid arthritis and being a pastor’s wife has deepened her desire to minister to the whole person—mind, heart, soul and spirit. Lael has co-hosted a talk radio program, The Things That Matter Most, on secular stations in Houston and Dallas about what we believe and why we believe it with guests as diverse as Dr. Deepak Chopra, atheist Sam Harris and VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer. (Programs are archived on the website.) Lael has authored four books, including a March 2011 soft paper edition of A Faith and Culture Devotional (now titled Faith and Culture: A Guide to a Culture Shaped by Faith), Godsight, and Worldproofing Your Kids. Lael’s writing has also been featured in Focus on the Family and World magazines, and she has appeared on many national radio and television programs. Lael and her husband, Jack, now make their home in South Carolina.

One Comment

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    ladylorraine

    Love it!  Beautifully penned

    Love it!  Beautifully penned as usual.  And it makes you realize that the rainy seasons of life may not be so bad either.