Sep. 17, 2015

It droppeth as the gentle rain...

“The quality of mercy is not strained.

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven...”

Wm. Shakespeare – The Merchant of Venice

I’m not what one would call the compleat Shakespeare fan, dating back to my days in the tenth grade at Ramona Convent, sleeping deeply and peacefully through the class on Julius Caesar, awakening with drool running down my chin, the rest of the class giggling, and Sister Paula Marie saying, sarcastically, “Welcome back. Nice nap?” That’s the thought that occurred to me, though, as we enjoyed rain! Serious RAIN Monday night, well into Tuesday morning and then again Tuesday night, “...the gentle rain from heaven...”  

Rain, that elusive weather feature we’ve all been praying for, longing for, for months now. We are so hoping the rumors of the Godzilla El Nino are actually going to materialize and not just flirt with poor dry Southern California, then head somewhere else, leaving us with more dead trees, more restrictions, more guilt and shame when we sneak out in the middle of the night to water our roses. And envy when the Midwest is covered with more snow than they can deal with and other states are flooded.

“Into each life some rain must fall.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” Dolly Parton

“You pray for rain, you gotta put up with the mud, too.” Denzel Washington

And, speaking of mud, you, dear faithful readers of this weekly website update, will recall that we have been struggling with our hundred year old galvanized pipes, ruined carpeting, perforated walls, and destroyed downstairs for some months now. Since June, in fact, and here it is the middle of September. Our Fall décor is up, featuring Indian corn and pumpkins. Progress has been made, the new pipes are all in, really cute red and blue flexpipe running all over the place inside our walls and basement. Said walls have been rebuilt and painted, the holes in the outside walls have been patched and stucco-ed and will soon be painted. We are waiting to call the carpet folks until Mike, our beloved plumber, is really truly finished inside and won’t be making any more size 13 work boot prints.

We, knowing a water bill was going to arrive sometime, taking us to account for all this water which cascaded over our carpet, and, slowly, insidiously, like a thief in the night, seeped into the ground four feet deep in our back yard, have been waiting for the axe to fall. It fell. If I said our water bill was four figures and change, you’d understand our heartfelt agony. We have appealed to Public Works and are awaiting their decision. We are hopeful, being the type of people whose glass is always half full, and who believe with every fiber of our being that Jeremiah 29:11 is the absolute truth...

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

We prefer to rejoice, to be grateful that our family is well, that everyone has work they enjoy doing, that after rain the sky is so beautiful we want to just stare at it and watch the clouds change from night to glorious dawn. We prefer to rejoice that we are healthy, that we can walk through our neighborhood and occasionally see deer. We prefer to rejoice that we have small children in our family to spoil, cherish and pray for. Oh dear friends, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever!” Ps. 118.29

“He will come to us like rain. Oh that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know Him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early Spring.”

Hosea 6:3

Rejoice today! God loves us!

Rejoice, too, that Jake Olson, blind due to retinoblastoma, now a “Swim With Mike” scholarship student for Physically Challenged Athletes at USC is wearing a Trojan football jersey and will most probably be their new ball snapper in this Saturday’s USC-Stanford game. Former USC Coach, Pete Carroll, and the USC athletic department embraced Jake and his family before Jake’s remaining eye was removed at age 12, said, “Nothing surprises me when it comes to Jake. He is one of the greatest competitors I’ve known. He epitomizes the spirit of “Fight On!”