The rain is coming down in sheets. It is pounding on the street, creating rivers in the gutters and washing away the grime of the summer. We open up all of the windows and breathe deeply of the fresh wet air. The lawn is thirsty, the world is thirsty.

I’ve been in pain for more than a month now. Healing is slow going, they tell me it will be three to six months before I’m fully pain-free again. My back is a bit of a mess but it will be able to heal eventually. For this, I’m thankful. I know so many have chronic unanswerable pain for years: my prayers are with them often now. I take a lot of painkillers to get through the days of parenting and work and life that still demand my presence. I’m being careful, I’m staying inside a lot. Sometimes we inch towards our healings.

The rain is thick around our house and the sky is darkening. Against all the orders of my doctor and my mother, I pick up our toddler anyway and open the back door. The big kids are all already outside standing in the crisp grass, their faces tipped to the sky, their mouths wide open, their eyes screwed shut. I keep the baby with us, standing under the roof’s edge just out of the deluge. I stretch out my left arm, the one that is always in pain or numb as a result of the injury, and here comes the rain to me.

The water beads along the inside of my forearm, along my wrist, I have a shallow pond in the palm of my hand within seconds. I shake the water free and grasp the baby’s hand, holding her palm out to the rain.

“Do you feel that?” I say to her, “it’s water, it’s rain.” She holds out her dimpled hand and her eyes are wide in wonder. The water is cold and clear against our skin. We stand there in the darkness and the storm, holding our hands out to receive a baptism of introduction together.

She hasn’t ever done this before, you know, she hasn’t ever stood in a rain storm and held out her arms to receive the gift. We stand together and I am so glad I was here for this moment, the one where she felt the rain on her skin for the first time and she didn’t run and hide from it, she didn’t duck away, she held out her hand and she looked her mother in the face and knew it was good.

Now, later, the clouds are breaking up to the west of the house even as the rain remains. Right in the darkness, the sunlight reaches us and the trees hold up their hands to receive light and water together. We call the tinies into the house, hang up wet clothes, change everyone into warm pajamas. We bath the baby and tuck her into bed. I take my pills and do my stretches. I feel like I participated in Creation tonight.

I stand at the window looking out into the fading day – the light is dazzling through the rain and there are prisms falling to us now. The light has opened up the sky to us again, the rain is fading away, the clouds are indigo with their heaviness, the late evening sun has filled the house, my soul has had the windows washed.

image via lightstock

Here on the couch
For you! The "Recovering Know-It-All" Print
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  • “She held out her hand and looked her mother in the face and knew it was good.”

    *Deep exhale* That’s what your words tend to elicit from me.. a deep exhale of a breath I didn’t even know I was holding in. A deep exhale because God has said something to me-again-through your words.

    Yes Babygirl, it’s terrifying and it’s new but because your heart is knit to mine you can look me in the face and know that *it is good.*

    Thank you <3

  • Juanita

    This was poetry. Beautiful. Thank you for your words they never cease to offer me something I need.

  • Vicki

    I just read Psalm 133 and this fit perfectly with it. Unity in love.
    Prayers for healing…back issues are no fun :/

  • Beautiful words — thank you. I hope your back is better soon, too. Back pain affects everything you try to do and can be very discouraging.

  • Judith A Lusk

    When I was a kid, my mother never let me go out in the rain without rubbers (yes, that’s what they were called!) on my shoes. To go out in the rain deliberately was never thought of. Now that there is a hurricane coming near, tomorrow I will go out in bare feet with my eyes closed and my mouth open and think of you and your kidlets! Thanks!

  • Sweet words you shared of your toddler and you together. Her experiencing rain storm for first time. Good memories, mom. My mom grew up in Kansas where they had many tornadoes and warnings. She and her brother would go to root cellar without their parents. Grandpa had severe arthritis so he couldn’t get there. Mom worried much and never knew what they’d find once came above ground. She feared storms in my growing up years. It wasn’t til I was an adult and pregnant with first child in NM thunderstorms did I realize being scared and pregnant didn’t bode well. Calmness is much better. Now back in Oregon there’s not many thunderstorms but I enjoy them when we have them. I’ve enjoyed our rain we’ve had this week. Much better than the hot weather we had in Aug. Praying you heal well and go easy. :-} Hugs!

  • Kathi Monroe

    This was absolutely beautiful in so many ways. God bless you as you mother ahead, wife ahead, and life ahead in His hands.

  • Kim

    Oh my goodness Sarah, this is so good. It fits in with things I was discussing with God today. “Sometimes we inch towards our healings.” Yes! I get impatient, and yes. I also loved reading “I stretch out my left arm, the one that is always in pain or numb as a result of the injury, and here comes the rain to me.” Thank you for the reminder that we have to reach out and not self-protect in order to participate in Creation. God lets us and encourages us in this.

  • pastordt

    I am so sorry for the pain, but so grateful for the rain — and that you chose to write about it. This is the kind of writing I hunger for, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. Thanks for doing it faithfully and well. Peace to you.

  • hannah hardyman

    I released a breath I didn’t realise I had been holding thank you x

  • Nancy Roe

    Thank you, Sarah!

  • Gary Ware

    Ahhh, my dear never have met friend, Sarah, God’s gift to you flows so wonderfully and serenely out to us to encourage us to endure in thankfulness. PAIN is so demanding, potentially destructive and absolutely purifying in its relentless work. Spouse and parents feared becoming addicted to the very items they often craved, for an oasis from the pain, as they neared death. My wife and I and close relative encourage each other day and night with texts to take our pills, don’t worry about addiction, pray and give thanks to our loving God. We cry together, vent together and share your blogs and proclaim, WE WILL ENDURE this with gracious attitudes and love.

    We sympathize with your, dear sister in God, and bind together with you in Spirit for your healing and growth. God bless and keep your entire family (care givers included).

  • Kathy Forsyth

    Thank you for reminding me of experiencing the rain like a child. It’s been too long since I have. continuing prayers for your back.

  • Libby Parker

    I love a good, beautiful description piece.

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  • Sarah

    Just joining Sarah’s blog. How beautiful was this! I too deal with chronic pain as a 27 year old, and sometimes the days can only be survived with extra meds and seeking out the beauty. Thanks for this, Sarah! Looking forward to more 🙂

  • jentjepsen

    My “artsy-fartsy” blog posts don’t tend to get many readers, but oh, are they good for my soul. Thank you for posting this. Beauty needs to be chronicled and reverberated.

  • Luise

    Hi Sarah, I just signed up for your newsletter and wanted to tell you I loved this post! Thanks for sharing.

  • Katie Noah Gibson

    So, so lovely. xo

  • Really loved this. Since so much in the world seems so ridiculous, I think this kind of writing is exactly what we all long for. Thanks for sharing.