News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, JULY 22, 2007


Nine-year-old had enough of rain prayers

All those stupid Pray for Rain signs are ruining Evie’s life.

Just when it looks like she will get to use her pool pass, it starts a downpour.

Then, when she makes it as far as the municipal pool, it starts thundering and those weenie lifeguards order everyone out of the water.

Come on people, what does a girl have to do to go swimming?

Sure, she likes to eat buttered corn on the cob and watermelons, which depend so heavily upon summer showers. No, she doesn’t want the cows to starve from lack of grass. Yes, she might be concerned — at least a little — about the plight of agricultural commodities and water tables.

But mostly, she pulls on her pink swim goggles and matching flippers, and pouts.

And then there’s that stupid sign.

Every time we pass the west end of Lee Road, she has to endure it.

Pray for Rain. Pray for Rain. Pray for Rain.

Enough is enough! In her mind, the animals are going to start pairing off any minute now and looking for Noah.

To her short sight, three years of drought is not an issue. It has rained more than normal in July. That should satisfy the farmers and tomato-sandwich connoisseurs. But no, they go on ruining her summer break with all those pleas for precipitation.

Now, Evie has resorted to badgering well-meaning people about the content of their private communications with God.

When big sister returned from a mission trip to Nashville recently, Evie was waiting with an accusation.

“Well, I guess you went up there and prayed for rain, didn’t you?” she said.

Then, she received a letter from Aunt Laney in Miami.

“I have some stamps for your collection,” Aunt Laney wrote Evie. “One thing about being a stamp collector is you don’t have to fret about the weather, since you had to be concerned about the lack of rainfall, just as all the farmers were.

“I do pray a lot that Alabama will get the rain it so badly needs.”

Evie loves Aunt Laney. Evie loves stamps. But she frowned when she saw the part about praying for rain.

When what you want contradicts with what you need, it’s difficult to know how to pray.

Do you trust a higher power to do what’s best, even if it doesn’t include swimming?

Do you pray for swimming, but grudgingly qualify it with “your will be done?”

Do you pray that severe drought will strike the municipal swimming pool like a precision guided missile, which spares the neighboring fields and gardens?

Is it wrong to get angry at the Almighty for helping the farmers by ruining your July?

These are deep, theological questions for a 9-year-old holding a pink, inflatable raft.

Scott Morris is managing editor.

Scott Morris Scott Morris
DAILY City Editor

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