February 18, 2005

Rain revival

"And the streams are all swollen with winter...winter unfrozen, free to run away now."

It's all soggy outside today. The rain came down on the snow, melted it, and it is all running down our creek now. We are getting used to hearing the creek rushing and tumbling by with all the moisture we've had this year....we open the windows to hear it and I find myself staring out at it several times a day. (The above picture is of our creek) Arizona has very few creeks or rivers that flow all year round, so we have to enjoy it while it is running. Actually we call it a creek but it's really a drainage ditch that runs through our town from the dam. The only time it has water in it is when a heavy snow melts and the water runs over the dam. It is usually a dry creek with a puddle or two from recent rains. A mosquito factory in summer and always an adventurous pathway through town for kids....it winds from the reservoir, through down town and after our neighborhood it ends up at the baseball park, a very happenin' place in a small town.

Once the police caught a small time thief because he took the creek path home from a fast food restaurant he robbed (next to the baseball park) and shed his robbery clothing as he went, also dropping cash along the way...and it led right to his home. I have seen some interesting things in that 'creek'....once 3 horses who are housed a few blocks from here got loose and were enjoying their freedom racing up and down the creekbed, their cowboy owners chasing them also on horseback up and down the creek. =) It was fun to watch but I didn't like what their hooves did to our front yard. Another time I saw this guy riding his 4 wheeler down the creek to my neighbor's house, where I suppose he was buying meth...that neighbor is gone now, along with his frequent stop by visitors.

I've also seen a tall, skinny road runner walk out of the creek one day as my husband and I were enjoying a summer afternoon on the front porch. It walked up and out of the creek, across our driveway and down our street into a neighbor's backyard. (not the meth neighbor, in case you're questioning this bird's morals) We also have a wonderful array of birds frequenting the creek puddles in Spring and Summer, including huge ravens who sit and make the weirdest noises on the telephone pole by the creek....sounds like they are percolating. Skunks and racoons must also be briefly but memorably mentioned among the critters of the creek.

There is a persistent pattern of rain and snow coming in each week lately...it is like a weather revival after a 6 year drought. The city has been discussing ways to keep our town from drying up just this past year....talking of trucking water in from nearby towns with wells, rationing our water usage with high prices and fining people who watered their gardens or washed their cars when it was not their specified day for extra water usage. Churches had special times of prayer for rain and snow. There were scalding editorials about how the golf course stayed so green while the rest of the town was drying up. There was a huge scandal when a bed and breakfast inn was caught diverting city water through their well pump house and into their inn for free. People were getting desperate. So it was no surprise when the paper ran this front page headline when the rains began this Fall.....Ask and Ye Shall Receive!! I think our town learned a lot during the time of drought, including putting some safe guards and extra resources in place if this should ever happen again. But it's also about faith and hope....knowing through the hard times, the doughts, that things will get better and coming to the place where we know it's a special blessing just to return to 'normal' much less to be innundated with an abundance of what you've been lacking.

People are funny though....as soon as we go dry again, there will be great concern and tribulations and wonderings if it will never end. And we should be concerned. Water is the stuff of life. None of us can do without it, it is vital, necessary, undowithoutable! Yet we usually take the presence of it for granted. The Giver of life, the Sender of water, the Sustainer and Provider wants us to look for more than what we see. He wants us to look for Him, to put our hope, faith, trust and life in Him. Yet we do not seek Him until there is an emergency, as our last resort. A friend of mine who really has no religious persuasion told me thank you for our church praying for rain and snow. My husband, a pastor, was in a shop this summer too when a woman we know who is a self proclaimed 'pagan' and worships the earth as her religion was asked what we were going to do about this drought. She looked at my husband and admitted, "The one you should be asking is him." She of course meant it in a good way, that he somehow had a connection with the giver of rain that ordinary people don't. I guess if I were in charge, I might send a few wake up calls too (maybe weather related wake up calls?)....'hello, I'm here...you need Me....look to Me and find your salvation.'

It reminded me of this verse from 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, wherein the Israelites were needing reminding *again* to look to God for help and life....

"When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

I just wish we weren't so stupid. I feel like I'll never take water for granted again.....but then....I'm stupid, so I probably will in time. I'm just so glad and thankful for the weather revival we're having.....and I can't help hoping it will be a revival for the souls in our town too.

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