Water Walking. This is somewhat different than walking on the water. It is even a tad different than walking in the water.
During Hurricane Dorian it rained at times so heavily our back yard looked like a pond, but when the rain stopped the yard drained into the ditches around it and on out into the swampland and then the river beyond. I’m just glad it didn’t set in with heavy rains that lasted without let up for days. That would have had a different ending for us.
Those heavy rains here last week from Hurricane Dorian got me to thinking about a story from the time we lived in Ecuador as missionaries. Water, it is a very precious commodity. It is necessary for the survival of anything with life. But too much of a good thing can turn bad. We have seen that with the floods up in the mid-west not too long ago. Floods can bring destruction and disease. They make us look at nature in ways that we don’t like to think about. But some of us have a keen ability to see something else in the midst of calamity. Some of us have eyes that look from a totally different perspective. Some see what others see as a calamity as just another opportunity to enjoy and have fun.
I remember back some years ago when our family was living in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Our middle daughter, Keely was about four years old. I had left town traveling somewhere in the country doing my missionary work. In Ecuador, especially on the coast we had two seasons a year, hot and hotter. Guayaquil was just south of the equator so it was hot year around. The hot season was dry without rain, while the hotter season was combined with rain and the humidity in 100 plus degree weather. It was almost unbearable. Almost.
It was rainy season, which meant that it rained every day. Sometimes during those monsoon rains it would rain so hard for a period of twenty to thirty minutes that you could literally not see more than a distance of about thirty feet. We would get 6 to 12 inches or more of rain in just that short span of time. The area we lived in was flat; there was nowhere for the water to run. The storm drains, such as they were, filled rapidly, and would actually worsen the problem in some lower areas as the force of water coming through them would literally lift the man hole covers off as water would gush out two to three feet in height. We lived in such an area.
Our home was some three blocks from the school that our oldest daughter attended. Every afternoon my wife and Keely would walk to the school to get Stephanne. This one day the heavy monsoon rains started just before it was time for them to walk to the school. They had to leave and walk in the heaviest rainfall of the day.
The storm drains and sewers were already backing up and the water was twelve to eighteen inches deep in the streets. My wife was thinking of such pleasant things as how nice it would be to have a second car, and wondering what kind of bacteria and disease were floating unseen in all this water that they were walking through. She was walking in calf deep water in deep adult troubling thought.
Keely hadn’t a care in the world. She was in water up to her thighs, having the time of her life, splashing and singing. This is the water walking I referred to at the beginning of this column. It was all a great adventure to her. Besides for once, mom was not telling her to stop splashing water. For you see, it didn’t matter, they were both already soaked from head to foot, umbrellas were useless in the driving wind and rain. So what difference did one more drop of water make?
The rain slacked off, the storm drains began to drain, and the flood began to subside. Stephanne was picked up from the school and the three of them walked back home. End of story. No, not quite yet.
The Bible tells us in Psalms 147:7-8, “Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. Psalms 147:11 The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.”
The rains are necessary to sustain the life that our God has given to us. Remember what I said about some of us having a keen ability to see something else in the midst of calamity with eyes that look with a totally different perspective on the subject at hand? Maybe we need to adjust our sight and see through the eyes of the circumstances of life as we trust in the Lord. Look at those circumstances as Keely did, an opportunity to thoroughly enjoy the water without fear of repercussions. No, not even mom’s repercussions.
This story long ago took on a humorous aspect in our family, and I not too sure that it doesn’t get funnier as time passes. However at the time it was very serious stuff for my wife. She and the kids all had nice baths when they got home, as a preventative against disease. After their baths, things were just beginning to settle down to some resemblance of normality, when Keely said something to her mother like, “I hope it rains again tomorrow.” Yep, we all need to have our sight adjusted!
Brad Morris, a retired minister, originally from Georgetown, served as a pastor and then as a missionary in Costa Rica and Ecuador, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He has been in ministry for 50 years and a columnist for 17 years, 12 of which have been for the Times.