See Luminosity

Gravestone Rain

Gravestone Rain

I am supposed to be planning my son’s first birthday.

Instead, I went to his grave.

I’ve written so much about the ways The Lord has blessed me through Dominic’s death. But sometimes, like today, it just sucks.  Sometimes I am just a mother without a child, sitting in a cemetery, instead of figuring out what colors to use on his birthday cake. Sometimes I just need to pound my fists and scream in desperation and ask “Lord, WHERE ARE YOU???” and let the hurt wash over me.

Tonight it did.

It rained, when I went to his grave. Rain, pounding, like the refrain that threatens to overtake me…

“A year later, and your baby is still gone. Your plans for a large family are gone. Your hope is gone. ”

On the ground, knees to chin, under an umbrella I sat, shielding from the onslaught. Protecting from the coldness, the barrenness, the haziness and fog that hovers and grounds us and obscures the sky.

Yes, these rain clouds have stolen my ability to see.

It’s the problem of this life; the quintessential, existential question that either brings us to our Maker or sets us dead against Him –

How do we deal with the rain of this life, and the stormwater that muddies, and the clouds that hide our vision and make it look like what is right in front of our faces is all there is?

This storm has been ever so much bigger than I could have imagined. And I’ve learned that I can’t answer that question very well when I’m in the middle of the rain.

I have also found that sometimes it’s not even about answering the question at all, but just giving in to the tempest.

I put the umbrella away.

Hands and knees touching gravestone, heart touching The Lord, I turned my face to the sky as the rain fell until I didn’t know whether the tears were my own or my God’s. Drops cascading over my head, down my nose and into my soul, I gave Him all of the dark places and yelled my questions, and groaned my angst and let it just be.

Maybe the problem is not really the rain, but the fighting against it.

 

  • “The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.” Deuteronomy 28:12
  • “He made darkness his canopy around him— the dark rain clouds of the sky. Out of the brightness of his presence bolts of lightning blazed forth.” 2 Samuel 22:12-13
  • “You heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it; I, the Lord, have created it.” Isaiah 45:89
  • “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11
  • “Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” Acts 14:17
  • “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.” James 5:7

Rain doesn’t just make everything cold and muddy and cloudy. It also brings about…

Harvest. The kind of harvest that lasts forever. The kind of harvest that never stops fulfilling.

One year after losing my baby, it is still so easy to focus on the storm rather than on the harvest.

***

At some point I looked down, cold, drenched, and soul weary, and noticed something else.

The rain had cleaned the dirt from the gravestone.

Previously dirt-spattered, scattered with dead grass, the stone was shiny and bright.

I can make it through this storm, for the harvest.

“Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God.” Hebrews 6:7

I opened my arms, turned tear-stained face to the sky, and let the rain fall.

 

One Response to “Gravestone Rain”

  1. polly says:

    Love those verses on the rain. You are so right–without it, no harvest. Without storms, we don’t produce. A good thing to try to remember.

    I know this has got to be a hard season for you, at this one-year mark. I am praying.

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