31 Days of the Little Way: Getting Caught in a Downpour

This has been a busy week. And we had so many appointments today that I had to drive to our boys’ school five times to pick people up, drop them back off, then pick them up at the end of the day.
So by mid-afternoon I was tired. And as I parked my car to go to the next thing—a campus celebration at work—the heavens opened.
It was pouring.
I had an umbrella, but I looked out the window and knew that would only be so much help. I had to walk about a block and a half. But I also wasn’t going to sit long in the car and wait. There were people I was excited to talk to, maybe some new people to meet, and well…I was impatient to get there.
So I stepped out into the rain. And it was every bit as wet as I thought. My feet quickly got soaked, and the rain dripped off the umbrella down my back, drenching my clothes.

Within a few minutes, I knew I would be drenched for the party, but I kept going. I thought of my father’s friend in Germany who taught us the phrase, “You’re not made of sugar.”
Yes, I am not made of sugar, I thought, and I will not dissolve in the rain.
So although I was uncomfortable and cold and wet, I tried to see the holiness in the experience. I’m blessed not to have to worry about whether we get enough—or too much—rain. My livelihood and the food and drink I provide my family and their health are not tied up in how much rain we do or do not receive. And we have had some lovely dry days lately. I really couldn’t complain. And I did have an umbrella.
When I arrived at the gathering, though, I noticed immediately that the rain wasn’t just something to endure with grace. It was actually bringing people together.
There was a spirit of excitement and collegiality that only running through the rain with others can inspire.
“Maybe it’s like a wedding day,” one person said, “and this rain is bringing us good luck.”
“Didn’t you have an umbrella?” another asked me. “Oh, wait. You did. And you are still soaked!”
We laughed together, enjoying the easy conversation and the common experience we shared.
Yes, I was wet, but mostly down my back and my feet. Besides, everyone else was wet, too. And somehow the rain that might seem like an unwelcome nuisance was actually bringing people together. Once we were safely inside, we listened to the rain hammering down above us. It added a certain excitement to the whole gathering.

And, even wet, I ended up having a simply fantastic time.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.