Send Rain


See, banks and brakes
Now, leavèd how thick! lacèd they are again
With fretty chervil, look, and fresh wind shakes
Them; birds build — but not I build; no, but strain,
Time’s eunuch, and not breed one work that wakes.

Mine, O thou Lord of life, send my roots rain
~Gerard Manley Hopkins from “Thou art indeed just, Lord”

As I look out through a tear-streaked window at the beginning of this dark day,
I fear I’m inadequate to the task before me.
Parched and struggling patients line my schedule;
they are anxious and already weary and barren, seeking something, anything
to ease their distress in a hostile world,
preferably an easy pill to swallow.
Nothing that hurts going down.

While others are thriving around them, they wilt and wither, wishing to die.

Lord of Life, equip me to find the words to say that might help.
May it be about more than genetics, neurotransmitters and physiology.

In this dry season for young lives, send your penetrating rain.
Reach down and shake our roots
and slake our thirst.



3 thoughts on “Send Rain

  1. Emily, what you have said and portrayed here today about your mostly young patients rings so true for me. As I mentioned once, for several years I was deeply involved in parish ministries. Most rewarding for me was working with 16-19-year old teens in youth group, catechesis and Confirmation preparation, all of whom were on the cusp of young adulthood. What they revealed to me has stayed with me all these years since. I discerned then and now that our teenagers and young adults well into their 20s are probably the most vulnerable age group among us. They often experience a “dry season” in their young lives, grasping at and experimenting with false ideologies and harmful actions, seeking the ‘love’ and acceptance that they never knew in the wrong places, often with disastrous results. Some have had traumatic family experiences, leading them to trust only their peers who, themselves, are often in the same situation. So it becomes a case of the blind leading the blind. They see the hypocrisy among adults where they should see good role models. Their ‘gods’ are often sports figures making millions of dollars for just playing games, immoral Hollywood types whose fleeting popularity they think they want to imitate. They wind up right where they began, feeling isolated, searching for direction, moral certitude and emotional fulfillment.
    They need our help whenever and wherever they come into our lives. Certainly, they need our understanding and our prayer.


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