23 September 2012

That understanding might fall like rain... and reign...

Yes, I'm using that same play on words, again. 

"Humans have long prayed for rain, but with our modern knowledge of meteorology, praying for rain can become a wrestling match. We struggle knowing it takes updrafts, low pressure zones and certain ocean currents for rain to happen in particular places. To our scientific minds, praying for rain can sound somewhat foolish.

Heavy rain and wind  - photo by LauraAngela Bagnetto
Praying for rain can also turn into a wrestling match with guilt. As we spew carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, we can’t avoid wondering whether we are responsible for messing up our weather. Are we partially to blame for the parched earth? Are we like a smoker praying we don’t get lung cancer instead of praying for courage to change our habit?

Or perhaps others of us smugly console ourselves by thinking we aren’t polluting as recklessly as our neighbors.

We are familiar with another story where prayer gets tangled with a wrestling match.

Jacob, who is not innocent or deserving, prays for deliverance from Esau, his estranged brother. He had tricked his blind father and stolen his brother’s birthright. The night before their inevitable meeting, Jacob wrestles with an unnamed assailant and demands a blessing. When morning comes he is left with a wounded hip, but Jacob the trickster is also given a new name. Jacob entered the struggle and came out with a different perspective. The estranged brothers are reunited and unexpectedly reconcile.

As we pray for deliverance from drought, are we looking for unexpected results? Are we willing to wrestle with the painful truth of our [own] culpability?"

Head on over to this article @ Mennonite World Review to read Ms. Yoder-Short's remaining thoughts on this topic.

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