“In the six hundred first year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and saw that the face of the ground was drying.”–Genesis 8:13 (NRSV)
As a farmer’s daughter, niece, and granddaughter, I am well aware of what a drought can do to the land. I have seen sunflower growth stunted because there is no water. I have watched as wheat wilts from the scorching heat of the sun with no relief in sight. I have seen tumbleweeds blow freely across the wide open prairies. I have seen the worry marks stretch across a farmers face as he/she waits for the rains to come down from the heavens. In fact, drought is a feeling one doesn’t soon forget as many cry out for the rains to come down.
Drought brings about death–death of the land and so much more. As a farmer’s daughter, I have seen the death of dreams and hopes dashed by drought. I have seen the death of crops and land. The truth is, in the midst of drought, one cannot escape the reality of death. It is all around us.
And in our broken messed up world, it feels to me like we cannot escape this drought we seem to be currently battling. I continue to cry out for God to rend the heavens. I continue to cry out for the rains to come down and water the earth that so badly needs replenishing. I stand, with my arms lifted high, calling out for the waters to rain down and remind the world that ALL of God’s children are beloved children of God.
In fact, I open a newspaper, turn on the television or radio and find myself crying out once again. I see another black person killed because of the color of their skin. I see my LGTBQ + friends who are afraid for their future and their children’s future. I see my Muslim and Jewish friends who are afraid to be who God created them to be because of how others see them. It seems to me, that these beloved children of God, understand what it means to trust in the midst of a drought. But more than anything, I want the heavens to rain down and wash away the hatred and fear that plagues our world.
In the midst of drought, I find that all I can do is cling to the hope that comes as we journey from the manger and eventually to the cross. Too often we pass right over Good Friday to Easter. We forget that Jesus was born in the stench and stealth of the manger. Through his cries, Jesus breaks into our often sleeping and silent world as the hope for all the world. It is a hope that breaks upon the floodgates of heaven and rains down on this broken land. It is a hope that reminds us who and whose we are. It is a hope that one can only cling to when it seems there is nothing else to cling to in this broken messed up world.