It was a gloomy Friday afternoon in Mondulkiri. It had been a very full, stressful week of teaching, and I’d had barely any time out of the school. I was exhausted–mentally, emotionally, and physically too. Now, from where I sat in the barber shop, I could see out into the main street of town, where the typical stream of motos went by. Clouds covered the town like a gray blanket, about as thick and gloomy as my week had been. The sunny months were finishing and rainy season was setting in. The only thing that made the blanket seem lighter, was that it wasn’t actually raining.
Then it started.
First, a gentle tap on the metal roof. Then, another, and another, until it sounded as if many gentle feet pattered across the roof. Cursed feet. The sound rapidly transformed into a roar, which grew until it filled my ears, leaving no room for any other sound. The street quickly emptied of motos, except for a few brave souls, most of whom had donned ponchos. I certainly didn’t feel like joining them.
I could feel my spirits fall almost as fast as the rain. Through my exhaustion, hardly realizing what I was doing, I prayed silently, “God, this week has been terrible, and I’m tired. I really don’t want rain.” Almost immediately, the rain started to slow. “I didn’t mean now,” I said. “I just don’t want to drive in it.” The rain continued, and I listened to it with my eyes closed. It was too much work trying to hold them open.
Soon before my haircut finished, the rain stopped. No more rain fell the whole time I shopped for food in the market and drove home. The clouds in the sky remained, but the clouds in my heart were gone.
For sure, I’ve prayed for God to stop rain since. And even though he doesn’t often change the weather to fit my preferences, I have always remembered, a bit fondly, that day when God showed me a bit of His love, and His humor, and stopped the rain to give me a dry trip home.