I spent much of the day driving around the lower Hurunui. Last week I saw it from the air. The land is dry. Very dry. We have not had rain for months and the land is parched with livestock struggling to find pasture. In some pockets of the countryside irrigation is fighting a constant battle, and in other parts farmers are having to feed out precious winter stores to their stock.
As I drove today I prayed for rain using psalms about deserts and rain, and Hopkins “send my roots rain.”
And for 1200 years (at least since the 700’s) Catholics have been praying for rain using these words:
O God, in whom we live, move, and exist,
grant us the right amount of rain,
so that, aided sufficiently in present temporal helps,
we may more confidently strive for eternal things.
Everything is our teacher. In the Wairarapa, we too are in drought, and from the cracked earth comes the living voice of the psalmist: “Oh God… my soul thirsts for you like a dry and weary land without water.”
Your picture and words are very moving, John. It’s dry up here in Pukerua Bay too but nothing like as serious as Canterbury. I have probably told you this before but a formative faith-building part of my childhood, in the bad droughts around Darfield was my mother going outside to stamp her foot ant God and shout “Make it rain, God!”. I think I decided that a God who could cope with that is a God to whom I could give my life.
I was also touched to read for the first time the Hopkins poem. I found myself thinking of how often Lent has begun for us in times of drought and how “Send our roots rain” is a profound theme for Lent.
Thanks for this post.