As only five-year old’s can do, little Claire bounced up from the window seat in her Mom’s bedroom. Claire’s bounce lacked its normal energy as she made her way across the room and climbed up onto the love seat where her mom sat. She snuggled into comforting warmth and asked, “Momma please tell me The Rain Story.”
Claire’s Mom, Amy, drew her daughter into her lap and tried to keep tears in check. Their new, silent companion Grief had firmly wrapped his arms around them both and was holding tight.
“Momma” Claire prodded. “Tell me the story.”
Amy laid her cheek on Claire’s blond head and sighed. “Sweetie, I’m so tired. Can’t we just snuggle?”
Claire was still only for moment before whispering, “My tummy hurts when I think about Daddy. Does yours?”
Amy hugged her closer and tearfully replied, “Yes. I miss daddy too. Honey, he’ll always be with us, and…”
Claire interrupted, “but it’s not the same. And Momma, God’s not even crying? Daddy must have been wrong about The Rain Story?”
Amy was silent. When Claire was very small, Doug had told her one rainy afternoon of all the ways that rain was God’s way of showing His love. Rain helped the flowers, trees and plants grow. It also provided animals with water, and sometimes, when God was sad the rain was mixed and made with His tears. He always ended the story with saying, “God becomes a part of you with each drop of rain that touches you.” While Amy was praying to find a way to respond, Claire sadly stated, “Mom, I know about Santa and the Easter Bunny, is God like them?” She hesitated, “Is He make believe too?”
Amy’s heart fell apart. Doug had been killed two weeks earlier in a car accident. The driver in the other lane had dropped his cell phone and in trying to recover it, he had hit Doug head on. They were both killed. Amy had no answers. She had as many questions as Claire did, but in this moment she could hear Doug’s voice. “The Lord touches us in so many little ways, like tiny drops of rain. Amy, you never stand in the rain and get wet. You always run inside. He wants us to feel and know Him. Get wet Amy and always remember John 16:22.”
She knew it said, “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”
Unseen arms of eternal love pushed aside the talons of Grief, and somewhere within that embrace she understood something that had always eluded her. She twisted Claire around, and held the warmth of her small face. “Sweetheart, Christ is real. Don’t ever think that He’s make believe. He loves us and He knows our pain. We are wrapped within His embrace and He is crying for us. Sometimes, it just takes a while before His tears create the rain.”
Claire’s fingers reached to wipe away the tears on her mom’s face. “Will God love us enough to let us have Daddy back?”
Amy gently shook her dark head. “Daddy can’t come back the way he was with us. He will come back in different ways. Sometimes we’ll feel him in the wind as it brushes across our skin, and every time it rains, you will hear his voice telling you that God is touching you and becoming a part of you. Claire, your daddy always wanted you to understand that the prism of colors that will create the rainbow of your life will lie in the treasure of stepping into the rain.”
Claire giggled. “He wants me to get wet?
Amy released her face and tapped her nose “No, silly. He just wants you to know what your heavenly father wants you to know and that is that in order to grow; we need the sun and the rain.”
Amy hugged her daughter close again, and they both smiled as they heard the rain begin to fall. Amy knew that it was one day at a time and that Grief may eclipse their hearts another day. However, she also knew that “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”