The Easter season brought record rainfall to Cincinnati. Naturally, folks were concerned about weather conditions. Tornado warnings, flood warnings and forecasts of severe rainstorms became part of daily life. After Mass on Easter Sunday, someone joked and asked me if I would like to help build an ark. I laughed at the thought of building an ark. Then I suggested we should wait for direct orders from the Lord, just like Noah.
Now, at morning and evening prayers at the Shrine of St. Anthony, we pray for dry weather, so farmers can plow and plant their fields. We pray for those affected by the flooding along the Mississippi river. Because of the devastation and death caused by the tornadoes and floods that hit the mid section of the country, the weather remains a topic of conversation.
Unusual concern about the weather triggered a pleasant recollection. When I was a child we had a thermometer outside on the back porch. We used to check it before heading to school in the morning. The thermometer was mounted next to a little poem. I memorized it because I enjoyed the rhyme. The poem still sticks in my memory.
Man’s a fool,
When it’s hot he wants it cool.
When it’s cool he wants it hot,
What it is, he wants it not.
(I have no idea about who the author might have been. If someone knows, please inform me.) There is some truth in that humorous poem. The writer reminds us of our foibles. Yes, we do tend to complain about the weather, though we are powerless to control it. Yes, people like to talk about the weather.
However, I admire the courage of those who face natural disasters and other problems with the strong resolve to pick up the pieces, rebuild their lives and move forward. One Japanese man, who lost everything in the tsunami said to a reporter: “Come back in 10 years and see how well we recover.” One woman who lost everything in the Mississippi floods told a newscaster, “We lost our home and our crop, but we are still alive and healthy, thanks to God. We will make it.”
We do well to ask ourselves: Do we have the same resilience and the hope to face things that seem overwhelming?
Here are two books that may speak to your need for hope in difficult times.
Hope Against Darkness: The Transforming Vision of Saint Francis in an Age of Anxiety
Richard Rohr with John Bookser Feister
Healing After Divorce: Hope for Catholics
Susan K. Rowland
***** Photo Credit Noah’s Ark Kevkel Photoxpress