While Father Stan Fiuk is away this summer, we have a visiting priest, Father Sal Gonzalez from Fresno, Calif., staying with us in La Vernia.
It’s been hot and dry in California; the drought there has impacted everyone there, and us here. Growers there provide many fruits and vegetables across the country, and the water shortages have impacted daily life and agriculture, and the price and availability of some produce.
And here in Texas this spring, like last spring, we’ve been inundated with spring rains. This has caused flooding and brought some challenges and hardship to our state. After a five-year drought, the rain has been nice to see, but we’ve been wishing it wasn’t all at once!
Father Sal mentioned how much he welcomed the sight of rain as he crossed into Texas, and shared how he truly enjoyed last week’s storm when he was settling in at St. Ann’s.
He was so excited to see and experience rain that he opened the patio door at the rectory, he said, and munched popcorn as he watched the storm.
It was refreshing, after watching California wilt in the sun.
But the storm also brought calamity.
As Father Sal watched, sudden, strong wind gusts destroyed the gazebo in the Stations of the Cross garden behind the church. The power went out in nearby areas, also; folks at home enjoying dinner and family time were plunged into darkness.
In our home, we lit candles, and enjoyed some conversation and singing. The storm offered an opportunity to converse that watching television or other electricity-dependent activities would have erased.
So the storm was a mixture of blessing and adversity.
I don’t yet know what will become of the gazebo, but I do know Father Sal was blessed and refreshed to witness the rain, to remember that even droughts pass in time. It offered him hope, and he shared that with folks back home in California.
And my family had some special time together, quietly enjoying the company of each other as the rain fell and as the storm ceased.
Reflecting on these events, these Bible verses came to mind: “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
“I form the light, and create the darkness, I make weal and create woe; I, the Lord, do all these things” (Isaiah 45:7).
God’s presence and all He created is beneficial. We don’t always see the blessings in the trials, but they are there when we truly open ourselves to His loving presence.