Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The saving power of a rainstorm

One of my close friends has a huge gaggle of kids.  They're a riotous, fun, loud group. It's an intense experience being with them, but they're the happy kind of high-energy, not the mischievous or annoying kind, so I enjoy spending as much time as proximity allows with this fun family.

They had visited my parents a month or so ago while I was at school. They attended church with them on Sunday. Driving home after the services was its usual blend of confusion over which kids were buckled up, juvenile chatter and the like.  They pulled up in front of my parents' home and the kids, noisy as ever, unbuckled and jumped out of the car to play in the oasis that is my mom's backyard. My friends went inside to help with dinner and chat with the grown-ups.

A few moments after they got home from church, a sudden rainstorm hit, not an unusual occurrence in Colorado in late June.  It was a welcome respite from the triple-digit temperatures from the previous several days.

Two hours passed and my mom said she thought she heard a little cry coming from somewhere.  They took a headcount of the children and realized that the three-year-old was missing.  They looked in the playrooms, the dress-up closet, the library (my parents don't actually have a library, but it is a room full of books) and finally the yard.  To my mom's horror, the little tot was still in the Suburban and had been stuck in her car seat since getting home from church.  She had been inadvertently overlooked amid all the noise and commotion and had been crying in the car for the duration.

They unbuckled her, rushed her inside and consoled her as the sheer luck of the situation began to sink in. Had it been one of the warmer days of the summer, she would have been in real trouble, even though the car was parked in the shade.  One rainstorm kept the car cool and her only problems were tear-stained cheeks and a sad little face.  Within 20 minutes, she was healed completely of those wounds, but had it been a day like the day before, she might never have made it.

And what luck that my mother happened to hear crying from inside the car while she was in the kitchen, which sits in the very back of our home.  It was miraculous.

I relate this story because my friend related it to me when I was talking with her about some of my concerns and worries.  She expressed how the moment she realized she'd left a child in a car alone made her feel like an unfit mother (and frankly, it was a moment of unfit parenthood), but the miracle of a rainstorm and a somehow-piercing cry saved the girl (and our families) from a sadder fate.

She said, "GMP, your rainstorm is coming, something that will save you. You're screwing up a lot now, just like all of us, but there's going to be a moment that God sends a rainstorm to cool you down and help you hang on."

I'm so grateful for the miracles our families enjoyed that day and I'm grateful for the interpretation my friend gave me.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons


  1. Oh, my goodness- what a story. I am SO glad the little cherub is alright and SO glad you and they do NOT have to endure a horrific loss. THANK goodness for rainstorms and for coming when needed. This story made me gasp out loud, and multiple times. Wow- SO glad this story turned out this way.

    And, your friend's interpretation for you is very poignant. You are a lucky man.

    Sending love and good energy your way, Duck

  2. So, stories like this always make me feel a little unhappy.
    First I should say I am very happy that the little girl was safe (just a little traumatized).
    The reason I find this story neither satisfying nor up lifting is because sometimes God doesn't send a rainstorm. I think about the hundreds who died of heat stroke in India earlier this year and wonder why God didn't send them a rainstorm. That leads me to doubt that God will sent me a rainstorm when I am in need, and even if he does, it still makes me question the goodness of God. Why would he make one person's life better, and leave someone else with a life that is not so great. That makes it hard for me to believe in God at all.
    Anyhow, those are just my thoughts on the topic. Do you have any responses to them? What do you think?


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