Faith that Conquers: I love a rainy night
by Kelly Mescher Collins | July 8, 2021
Growing up on a farm, our livelihood was often at the mercy of Mother Nature.
During a drought, I distinctly remember my Mom telling us kids (there were nine of us) that we needed to pray for rain. If we were too young to understand, my Mom explained in simple terms that it was important for the crops to grow.
We knew all about the crops – walking beans felt like the bane of our existence in the summer.
My Dad would call upstairs in the early morning hours of summer to us less than enthusiastic kids, wanting nothing more than to bask in the few months afforded to us for sleeping in.
“Time to get up,” my Dad called.
Time to get dressed and eat breakfast so we could head out to the field to walk beans, he said.
Ever the seasoned farmer, my Dad reminded us that it was important to get out there early before it got hot. He had the water jug and hoes ready to go. [Insert kids groaning.]
One summer night my Mom was driving us home after a softball game and the song “I Love a Rainy Night” by Eddie Rabbit came on.
“I love this song!” my Mom exclaimed, cranking up the volume and singing along. Of course, she reminded us again that we kids needed to pray for rain.
I should point out that my Mom rarely cranked up the radio. But it just reflected her level of enthusiasm and hope in the Lord that he would provide.
Earlier this year, much of Iowa was in a drought – we even had some 80 degree days in April. But then suddenly the rain came – a stretch so long that even farm kids like me were also silently hoping for some sunshine on the side.
There were many times during this long, rainy stretch where I found myself thinking: “I bet there are a lot of farmers out there praying for rain.”
Even in retirement, my Dad was a Farmall-loving, RFD-TV watching farmer through and through. Though his days of plowing and planting were behind him, he often enjoyed checking out the fields on his drives. He seemed to light up seeing combines and tractors moving about in the fields, participating in God’s cooperative work of feeding the world.
Last spring my Dad’s health took a turn for the worse, and I had a feeling his time on earth was coming to an end. The day I learned my Dad was moving to hospice, I did what any daughter would do – I prayed for him. I was sad and did not want to say goodbye. But just as a farmer friend reminded me, to all things there are a season.
It was while praying for my Dad that I felt a nudge by the Holy Spirit to check the calendar of Catholic feast days. Unaware of what I might find, I discovered the Feast Day of St. Isidore, the patron saint of farmers, was just a few days away. I knew the end was near.
May 15, the feast day of St. Isidore, ended up being my Dad’s last full day on earth – he passed away the morning of May 16, 2020.
Upon reflection, it all made sense. A farmer doesn’t quit until the job is done. I remember many times supper sat waiting sometimes hours for my Dad and brothers who were outside well into the dark planting fields, cleaning stalls, fixing fences, tending to frozen water troughs – whatever duty called.
But the next day, God gave my Dad rest.