Last night I watched as the clouds gathered in the distance and turned dark. The wind was cool and smelled sweetly of rain. As I watched the rain streak the sky on the horizon, I hoped the moisture would reach us before the storm faded. It wasn’t long before the crack of thunder, the pounding of raindrops, and the gurgle of running water filling rain barrels saturated the night with song. I watched as lightning flashed a constant rhythm in the sky, and was awed by the brilliant wonder of nature. Unfortunately like all of the spring rains we have had this year, the storm was short lived and the rain that fell barely left its mark in the rain gauge.
This morning as I walked about my yard and admired the abundant beauty of spring, I thought about the night’s shower. Although I am thankful for every drop of rain, we desperately need more to fall on this dry and parched land. My gaze drifts toward the pasture. The land appears green and bears evidence of recent showers, but the appearance of lush pasture is only superficial, closer examination will reveal the devastating effects of last summer’s drought that continues to plague the plains.
As I look closer at the sparse green blades of grass that provide temporary cover for a mat of dry and withered stems, I am amazed at how those few blades of green that have drank the insubstantial moisture can leave an impression to the casual observer of a land that is thriving while just below its green veil it is starving for water. However, I know that should the drought continue, the true condition of the land will soon be visible to all.
Looking over green hills that stretch towards the horizon, I want to forget that we are still in a drought. It makes me wonder how long the people in this country – how long have I – ignored the spiritual state of our nation that has been veiled by the religious freedoms we enjoy and the handful of individuals who have stood in thin company to help uphold our dying land. I remember growing up in a system that separated religion from daily life – a system that was slowly depriving its children of water and I wonder did anyone notice? Was our church system unintentionally distracted by programs, numbers, and entertainment which – although it may have been green – drank the insubstantial waters and did little to become a flowing fountain into the areas they believed were off-limits? It is easy to look back and wonder, but how long have I wanted to believe that I live in a nation whose Christian foundation continues to be well watered by honest and upright leaders who know the source of our prosperity and freedom and not wanted to look any deeper or get involved? I wonder how long I will continue to ignore the blood that has been spilled and poisoned our roots as we sacrifice and murder in the name of convenience? How long will I refuse to look deep and even contribute to a system build on instant gratification rather than the hard work and self-sacrifice that built strong roots in our ancestors?
Of course, we cannot study the state of our nation without also examining our own spiritual state. Have I watered my spirit in the word enough to provide deep moisture and strong roots or does a thin veil of good works hide a dry and thirsty soul? What will it take for my heart to be saturated enough to overflow into a nation and a land that is dry?