For my entire time in Israel, I dreamed of seeing the rain fall on ha'Eretz. During the summer, everyone told me, "It never rains before October, maybe September."
As I was originally going to leave in the middle of September, it seemed highly unlikely that I would be there for ha'yoreh (the first rain).
Oh, sure, there were some scattered sprinkles on a few days . . . but I was assured by many that when the real first rain came, it would soak the ground and everything else, it would wash away all the dust of the summer, it would bring up the smell of the good fertile soil, it would be intense and definite.
This morning, my last in Israel, when I walked to the Biblical Garden to watch the sun rise, I could see that the roads and bushes were wet. The rain had fallen in the night . . . and I had missed it. Knowing it had come was good; but knowing that I had missed it was rather heart-wrenching.
Then, tonight, two hours before I had to leave Yad HaShmona for the airport, we were in moadon watching Nooma videos . . . and there was a sudden drumming on the roof.
Though I'd been half-asleep, I leaped up, sprinted outside . . .
and there . . .
was the rain.
It was everything I'd been told it would be-- strong, intense, breath-taking, fully soaking. It rushed over my face, my outstretched hands and arms. It soaked my hair within a few moments, streamed down my under my sweatshirt, splashed over my bare feet. I closed my eyes, tilted my face up toward the sky, wept, prayed, thanked God.
I knew I had to go inside, back to my room, do my final packing and gathering . . . but I didn't want to leave the rain, this symbol of God's goodness and faithfulness. But I had to go.
Just as I opened my eyes, put my hands down, turned to go back inside . . .
the rain . . .
First it slowed to a few scattered drops, then, as I stepped up into moadon, it ceased entirely.
And I knew, deep in my heart of hearts, that it was a special whispered goodbye just for me from my Savior . . . reminding me that, no matter how impossible I think my requests are, He is always strong, always faithful, always able.
Barukh atah Adonai eloheinu, melech ha'olam.
Blessed are You Lord God, King of the universe.