I’ve been thinking about what to write for this Tomato Theology Syncroblog, but have felt as if I have been hitting a few walls.  Here are some thoughts that I wrote down two days ago.  I hope they will sustain you until I get the full post out late tonight.

As I sat down to type there was thunder in the distant and within minutes rain was pouring down.  With flashes of lightning and cracks of thunder I watched the rain fall down on parched earth.  We have had a dry summer.  I heard recently that we have had six inches of rainfall less than average this year.  That is a very considerable amount.  I have spent the summer on hands and knees in my garden and in the process I have prayed a lot.  I have found the moments when I weed to be very peaceful and a great opportunity to pray and reflect on my life.  I have found the moments when I am fertilizing and watering the plants an opportunity to pray and ask GOD to continue the growth that has been started in my life.  And I have found the moments when I am harvesting the bounty to pray and thank GOD for the food that Lauren and I have to eat.  My time in the garden this year has helped me to see, in a very physical way, that I am not in control.  With each plant I am tending I know that I can only do a small amount that needs to be done.  I can place the plant in the best possible soil, I can water and fertilize, and I can help the growth in every way I know how, but I cannot force the plant to grow.  I cannot will the plant to flower.  I cannot create a harvest.  These things are out of my control.  The more I understand this, the more I recognize that GOD is working where I cannot see.

In her book, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” Barbra Kingsolver writes about two different views toward rain.  A cashier in Arizona, angered at the thought of rain, remarks “I know that’s what they’re saying, but I don’t care.  Tomorrow’s my first day off in two weeks, and I want to wash my car.”  A waitress in Virgina responds to the same likelihood of rain, “Don’t we need it.  Let’s hope it’s a good long one, and that it’s not so hard that it washes everything out.”  After Kingsolver juxtaposes these two thoughts she writes:

It is not my intention here to lionize country wisdom over city ambition.  I only submit that children of farmers are likely to know where food comes from, and that the rest of us might do well to pay attention.  For our family, something turned over that evening in the diner: a gaspump cashier’s cures of drought was lifted by a waitress’s simple, agricultural craving for rain.  I thought to myself: “There’s hope for us.”

If there is hope to be found in rain, then I pray that we can find it.