Today it rained. A lot. In a very short space of time. And I was caught in the middle of it. I had no umbrella. I had no raincoat. I had no wellies. I was wearing just a T-Shirt. A Skirt. And some flip flops. I got wet. Or rather, completely and utterly soaked to the core.
My heart sank when I first saw the rain. I was just leaving a friend’s house where I’d had lunch after church. I knew I needed to walk across town to get to the matatu stop, and I also knew Nairobi jams when it rains. Everything comes to a standstill. When it started, I realised I had two choices:
1. To find shelter and sit the rain out
2. To get walk in it and get wet.
As it was getting late and I didn’t want to be out in town after dark, I went for the latter option. To get wet. Very very wet. At first I was cross and frustrated. I really didn’t want to get wet. I had things on my mind. Things that I needed to get done when I got home. I was already running late. I tried to dodge the rapidly-growing puddles, stand back from the kerb to avoid getting splashed, and walk as quickly as I could. Surprise, surprise, this didn’t keep me dry. The rain was still falling like a waterfall.
Then I stopped.
I stood there in the middle of the park I was crossing, in the pouring rain and tried to figure out what to do.
And I looked up.
There, right above me was a rainbow. Not the most beautiful one I’ve seen, but still a rainbow. A reminder of all God’s promises to us (Genesis 9:13). And I smiled. I felt like spinning in the rain, laughing. But I was already being stared at enough. A mzungo out in the rain with no umbrella or raincoat is apparently not a normal sight here in Nairobi.
So I continued walking towards the matatu stop. But this time, more slowly, enjoying the moment. Not caring that my flip flops were flicking mud up the back of my legs, or that my t-shirt was sticking to me it was so wet. I walked on. Embracing the rain that this land desperately needs. Smiling at the people staring at me, laughing at the men calling me to come and shelter under their umbrellas.
I now realise this rain storm, and particularly that rainbow, was what I so badly needed. By the end of this week I was tired. Not physically, but emotionally.
This week I seem to have heard so many desperate cases. Poverty at its cruellest. And they keep coming. Sometimes I wish I just hadn’t heard the story. If you haven’t heard, you don’t have the responsibility.
But once you’ve heard, how can you just ignore the situation and get on with your week in your own little world. You can’t. It’s just not possible. It’s tiring, and so draining on your emotions. But small though it seems, this rain, this rainbow has refreshed me. As I was walking, I felt like a sponge, soaking up all of God’s goodness. I made the choice to enjoy the moment, learn from it. And now, I feel set for the new week and the challenges it shows knowing that God has it sorted. He is in control. I can’t do anything, only by His strength and the love He promises.