“Showers of blessing, showers of blessing we need;
Mercy-drops round us are falling, but for the showers we plead.”
For the first third of my life, I was in church on Sunday evenings. That’s when we sang songs with more energy, with creative harmonies. The basses got to dig deep, to add notes.
It’s the first song that came to mind when Nancy said, “rain” after I asked for an idea for this post.
I haven’t thought about that song for years. But the image of rain when applied to life — that I’ve thought about. Homes and lives being flooded, washed out. Emotional floodwaters overwhelming people. After all, when it rains, it pours.
That’s the risk of metaphors. They can confuse us rather than clarifying.
So I went back to the text. The phrase “showers of blessing” is buried in the middle of Ezekiel 34. It’s a story about shepherds who take advantage of sheep, about cattle who have abundance wasting the resources needed by cattle who lack. And it’s a story about how there will be justice, finally for the sheep God cares for.
I want blessings. Perhaps not showers of them. And perhaps not the kind that I might pick. But I want the kind that make pastures green and that fill pools of still water. The kind that a good shepherd can lead me to.
And, for the record, I do like rain. Quietly falling for cattle in Oklahoma and outside a window where I am reading with a cup of coffee. And for sheep who need a shepherd.