Cleansing Rain

rain falling - photo by Inge Maria on Unsplash

I recently had one of those weeks when I couldn’t do anything right. Looking back on it now, I see that God had a hand in using this week to teach me something about focusing on God.

The first of my mishaps occurred when I tried to cook barbeque ribs in a crock pot after rain cancelled our outdoor plans. The recipe called for broiling the ribs briefly before putting them in the slow cooker. I must not have noticed the key word “briefly” in the recipe, so I ended up burning the ribs. We ate sandwiches that night.

The second calamity involved our laundry. I washed a load of shirts and blouses, not realizing that there was a dark red blouse of mine in the load. That blouse fades and should be washed separately. As I was transferring the wet clothes from the washer to the dryer, I noticed things looked pink. The blouse had indeed faded on everything. Pink is not my husband’s color, so a couple of his shirts are now being recycled as yardwork/fish-cleaning shirts. My wardrobe, meanwhile, is sporting my first pink blouse.

The final blunder of the week involved the garage door and my car. It was an extremely hot day, and my husband had left the garage door partially open to allow for air circulation. Our normally dark garage, then, was showing the sunlight from outside. I noticed the sunlight in the garage and assumed the door was opened all the way. The sound of the roof of my car scraping the bottom of the garage door told me it was not. Fortunately, there was just a slight scratch on my roof and a slight dent on the bottom of the garage door.

These three blunders in one week gave me a bad attitude towards myself. What was the matter with me? Couldn’t I do anything right? The more I put myself down, the more I felt the need to have a diet soda. I rarely drink diet sodas, but the urge to have one then was such that I drove to the store to buy one. After going to three stores and finding no diet soda, I burst into tears in my car.

It was then that I suddenly felt drawn to spend an hour in Adoration. I decided to drive straight over to church. As I sat there, I reviewed the past week. Yes, there were some unfortunate mishaps, but nothing major. No grave consequences, just my bruised ego. Maybe God lets us have these minor mishaps to keep us humble.

While I was praying with that thought, I could hear it thundering outside. The usual summer afternoon rain shower was passing through. More thunder came, the sky darkened, and then it began to rain. It turned out to be quite a deluge. Sitting in church, listening to the rain, I began to feel very peaceful. I felt safe, sitting there with God. Even though the rain was outside and I was in, the rain was cleansing me. It was wiping the week’s slate clean. I was letting go and re-centering on God, on God’s cleansing presence. All would be well.

I left church reminded that I’m not perfect. God doesn’t expect me to be. That was freeing. Had I not responded to God’s invitation to sit quietly, I might have missed this healing rain.

And the obsession to get a diet soda? I realized it was a way to seek comfort in a low time. That day God taught me that the only true and lasting comfort is found when I seek the comfort of God.

Photo by Inge Maria on Unsplash.

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Melinda LeBlanc is a spiritual director in the diocese of Baton Rouge, LA, where she offers individual direction, group direction, retreats, and prayer. She received her certification in Spiritual Direction from the Archdiocesan Spirituality Center in New Orleans and holds a Masters of Pastoral Studies degree from Loyola University. Melinda serves on the board of the Louisiana Association of Spiritual Directors. She considers it a blessing to be a part of others’ spiritual journeys and enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband Darrel and entertaining her two cats.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks Melinda. In my humble opinion, through periodical doses of such minor mishaps, we are being prepared for greater challenges and exciting responsibilities, befitting our talents and our stature.

  2. This happens so very often in my daily life but here again when I call on the Lord somehow the solution comes promptly and peace returns.
    I love the gospel line “Without me, you can do nothing” !

  3. I certainly hope with the time you were having that you remembered to close the windows in your car while you went to church.

  4. Thank you for telling us of your weekly experience, I am so pleased to realise it is not only me who is having all the mishaps. Much as I pray , nothing seems to be going right. I guess it is something to do with all the stress, everyone all over the world is experiencing at present. There seems to be nothing we can be sure of ; except God’s presence but we have to strop and let Him in to help us. God Bless you in your work, may you stay safe. A.M.D.G.

  5. A wonderful reflection on how to handle life’s ‘little bumps’. When we learn how to best deal with the little ones, we can deal better with the bigger ones. And doesn’t that always involving sitting with God and waiting for the rain?

  6. Everyone is tired and distracted right now. I was in a doctor’s office recently where patient after patient came in with injuries. One woman had sprained both wrists. A gentleman was recovering from a broken leg. I was seated in a wheelchair thanks to two sprained ankles and a fractured fibula. All of our accidents were “freak” accidents wherein we tripped or fell or ran into something while going about our usual activities. We’re all tired and worn down by the headlines. Under such circumstances inadvertent dye jobs or scorched barbecue are to be expected. Thankfully we can turn to God and trust in his comfort. An hour in his presence does wonders.

  7. I simply CANNOT bless you enough for sharing so honestly, Melinda. Your words mean more than I am able to articulate.

    Deeply grateful for the Spirit speaking to me through you.

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