Sunday, January 15, 2012
"Rain Down on Us, Rain Down on Us, Lord . . ."
"Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made."
The date is September 22, 2009.
I leave for work in the pouring rain.
When I arrive at school, there is hope for my umbrella against the driving sheets of water. I make a dash for it.
Chilled and dripping, I watch as buses disgorge an endless stream of water-logged children. They flood into the building, shouting and calling out to one another.
Soaked shoes leaving wet prints on the floor.
Marking a slick trail toward lockers and classrooms.
"Mrs. Orlando, have you ever seen it rain so hard?" Asks Donnie, one of my homeroom students.
The note of worry in his voice is unmistakable.
"No, dear, I haven't," I answer honestly, but offer what I hope is a comforting smile.
"Isn't it supposed to flood? That's what we heard on the radio. Why didn't they cancel school?"
"Probably, because school has never been canceled on account of rain. Try not to worry, Donnie. Everything will be alright."
But, it isn't.
First period. Second period. Third period.
Still, the opened heavens unleash their fury.
Rumors of early dismissal begin to fly. By lunch, they are confirmed.
The ban on cellphone use at school is lifted as children are urged to contact parents.
Here come the buses.
Not a moment too soon.
For surrounding roads are flooding. Fast!
Administrators stay with the children awaiting rides. Teachers are dismissed.
Again, a drenching dash for me. I am praying to make it home. For everyone to make it home . . .
A twenty minute commute becomes a two-hour nightmare.
Every route I know is shut down by creeks raging over their banks.
Where to turn? What to do?
Just before panic sets in, I remember that Danny is working at home today.
I call him, but not before I notice my cell battery is dangerously low. And, I have no way to charge it in the car.
He gives me directions, thankfully, before my phone dies.
And, I'm off! Only to discover another road block . . .
"Stay calm," I reassure myself as I turn around.
I pray harder than ever.
There is a road on my right with a familiar name. I take the turn. Take the chance.
"Please, Lord, let this bring me home!"
It's long. Twisty and sinuous. Slick with rain.
But, not flooded . . .
It leads to higher ground.
It leads me home . . .
Do troubles seem to be flooding your world today?
Will you pray with me?
When troubled waters threaten to drown us, Father, help us to remember that You will ride out the storm with us. Let Your grace and mercy ever rain down on us. May we give You thanks in all things. Amen.
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