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Saturday 18 May |
Saint of the Day: St. John I
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Praying for a mist


Philip Laubner/CRS

Jennifer Hubbard - published on 05/08/23

The dry land shows us what our soul needs too ... the Living Water knows my needs far better than I could ever fathom.

We walked the perimeter of the browning meadows, the grower excitedly noticing the trees in the distance, as he described their history and plight, arms swinging in full animation. Each time we stopped, without even a thought, he would dig the toe of his weathered boot into the scorched earth. The chipped divots in the ground would send dust wafting ever so slightly.

The drought was the severest that I had ever experienced, the season the driest in years.   Everywhere I went, the same question was asked: Has the forecast predicted rain. It was almost as if it were a game of statistics. If the question were asked enough times, eventually it would deliver the desired result. 

We were all anxious about the drought that wreaked havoc but the grower, the grower on this day, was even more alarmed about the rains. 

I couldn’t understand how something so desperately needed was a cause of alarm. I would have thought rains would be cause for celebration, especially for him, a grower. 

Toe digging into this latest stopping spot, he explained the earth had become so dry, it was if it was baked into a brick. The ground had hardened rock solid and without pores or cracks for the water to seep, the rains could not penetrate to the root systems. Rain waters would simply sheet and create a layer of surface mud that would bake harder and form another impenetrable layer.

What we needed, he went on to share, was a gentle sustained mist, that would slowly soften the surface and penetrate cracks and crevices of the scorched earth. The grower, toe chipping into the earth, was breaking to provide the water a way, even for this one small space. 

So true, I thought. 

So true of the earth and so true, at times, of the state of our heart.

The demands and disappointments of this world, pounding on our hearts, the bruises left, leave us all a little hardened. At least that is how it feels for me at times. I pray for a thundering cloud and clapping boom to release me from my desert. And yet, what I pray, I would be unable to receive.

No, the Living Water my heart quenches, is tender and merciful — who knows my needs far better than I could ever fathom — sends a gentle mist that reaches through the smallest crevices to penetrate and soften my hardened heart.


This is part of the series called “The Human Being Fully Alive” found here.

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