How about that rain, ya'll? Loved it. Made me want to go outside and just get soaked.
Anyways, I didn't have time to blog about the rain before...was too busy moving from one room to another room in the house (step one of my grand plan). Then people came over and eventually had to go see Transformers (someone owes me $9.25 for that movie and $8.25 for Silver Surfer). But the rain inspired me to write a blog.
Well...since I'm too stupid to actually just go to bed, I'm gonna write that blog.
Normal rain doesn't inspire me; today's rain was different. It was hard and fast; really big drops that hurt when they hit. "Bring the rain," etc.
Only the Bay City people know this, but back in 1999 and 2000 (or was it 98 and 99? Eh...), I went on two missions trips to Mexico. None of this New York City nonsense that my brother is currently doing; I pray God blesses their efforts, but wow, what an easy trip. Mexico was different; we stayed over night just over the border in Texas, and then every morning would drive into Mexico. We'd spend pretty much the whole day walking around going up to people and following our printed list of Spanish questions, either straight up sharing the gospel or inviting them to come to the meeting we'd be holding.
I did many crazy (to me now) things during that time. Stopping traffic in the street in order to hand them a pamphlet was probably the worse of it. I remember lots of soccer games and prayer huddles...and sadly the occasional emotional drama between team members.
The meetings were pretty simple. A few of us would badly sing a hymn in Spanish as the special music, there'd be a puppet show for the little children, and the evening could cultimate in a chalk drawing by a talented young lady while the missionary would preach a gospel message. The chalk drawing was preprepared; she would draw on it, creating this really nice picture of heaven, but turn on the black light and it showed hell as well. This chalk drawing was eventually done for us in a special service in our home church, but that was months later.
One of the nights in Mexico, we had had a pretty weatherly day. One of those days where it just couldn't decide what was going to happen; was it going to rain or just be humid all day long (great thing about Mexico - you drip, all the time, and yet are never 'hot'). Eventually the decision was made to just continue with the meeting.
Well, near the beginning of the chalk drawing for the adults, it began to threaten rain. So we hauled out a giant tarp to hang over the chalk and the woman working it. Somehow, possibly because we were both close to 6 feet tall, I and an old friend named Nate (might have been his older brother Chris, but I remember it being Nate) got the 'privilege' of holding the tarp. It was tacked down on one end, but the other end, near the drawing, we had to hold up while everyone else worked the crowd, prayed, did who knows what else.
Then the rain hit. I will never forget that night. I got soaked. It was that heavy hard hitting rain that we experienced today. The kind that hurt if it hit you directly. And there were Nate and I just getting pelted, and to add to that, all the runoff would just go straight on down us. Water falling out face, having to constantly brush our hair away or just spew water. I remember Nate and I just looking at each other and just laughing. We held that tarp the whole service; we were both exhausted by the end of it, and both of us spent the rest of the evening in sopping wet clothes and fell right to sleep when we finally got back to the mission. We did get a nice long look at her working the drawing though.
I don't remember the event as me "serving" anyone. I certainly didn't do it out of any sense of obligation or service to God. Quite the opposite. It was just something that needed to be done. That seems to be becoming my whole idea of ministry in my life now. If it needs to be done, I'll do it. I do not believe that I am cut out for walking up to someone and asking them if they know where they are going to go when they die. That method does not work, in my opinion. I'd rather be manning the table than walking around with the cross.
But since that night, whenever that hard heavy rain comes, it reminds me of Mexico. It reminds me of a time before I started questioning the doctrines and teachings of my old church; before my rebellion, as it were. Not against God, although I went through that too; but against the established church in His name.
When that rain falls, I want to run outside and just be in it. I want to go walking with no regard for the lightning, wind, or discomfort. I just want to get completely soaked. I just want to experience and relive it all.
"It's raining...it's pouring...but I ain't complaining...because I love the rain."