I was born and raised in South Africa – third, fourth, fifth generation – and all my childhood memories of vacations are from the dry flat landscape of the Karoo.
Stark unrelenting miles of dusky golds and browns interrupted only by bitter faced mountains and lonely windmills. That landscape imprinted on me to such a degree that this is now how I measure beauty. I see it spelled out in flats and hot and dry and veld that stretches as far as the eye can see. In springboks and anthills and eagles that are the only specks in an otherwise cloudless sky that stretches bleak and blue and forever.
This is where I can breathe the best.
My grandfather farmed sheep. We rode horses, milked cows, knew all the dogs by name. There were far too many cats to keep them all straight. On sweaty afternoons we’d all strip down and plunge into the water reservoir skinny dipping the heat away while our parents prayed for rain.
And when after months and months of drought the heavens finally cracked open we all sat out on my grandpa’s red tile farm house porch to watch it come down. All but my mom who ran as fast as she could right into the downpour on the grass patch in front of the fish pond. And she danced in the water and laughed at the goodness of the Lord and made all her children do the same.
We gaped at her. And then we ran. We ran as hard and fast as the rain and tilted heads and arms back and up at the sky with her as we learned how to worship the God that saw fit to bless us with His heavenly water.
More than two decades later in a living room in Virginia, USA I still dance in the rain. On days when the goodness of the Lord drenches me to my disbelieving skin I tilt back head and raise arms, turn up the radio and dance. And it’s my face that’s wet and my heart that’s soaking up the water and I am 12 again and want the moment to last forever.
“For this is what the Lord says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet the valley will be filled with water…this is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord,” (2 Kings 3: 16-17).
There have been long seasons of “no,” seasons of long commutes to work far from home and my kids, and I have questioned and wondered and worried through most of it. But some days, some days we get a glimpse into a perspective bigger than our own. Some days the heavens crack right open and He sends the rain.
So I put down my work, my obligations, my dishes and run out to meet Him. I’m delighted to find that I still remember how. And I dance in His downpour, right there – in the living room.
Pst, don’t forget to join me tomorrow for Five Minute Friday again. It was a blast last week reading all your posts! Tomorrow we’ll be racing the clock to see what we can come up with in five minutes on People Watching. Whether it’s at the grocery store, in the gas line, or at your kid’s school. Pick a person and them write them into living color for us all. In five minutes flat.