In the 1984, the Wendy’s fast food commercial made Clara Peller a household name and iconic symbol with her line, “Where’s the beef?” In March 2015, I traveled to Cambodia as a short term missionary team member with the United Methodist Women Ubuntu Journey program. It was 98 degrees in March! That’s not a normal, comfortable temperature for that time of year. Now, it’s June and we’re experiencing a drought, with temperatures rising to 100 degrees each day. Again, this is not quite the normal comfortable upper 80s that we usually have in June. Last year, it rained nearly every week and the temperatures stayed in the 70s and 80s. Friends complained that they did not think it was actually summer. I graduated with my Masters degree in August on a beautiful summer day without the weather being scorching hot. This year, it’s a different story. It’s June and we have not had rain in over two weeks. The corn looks like the tops of pineapples and the chickens are panting; I never knew that chickens could pant like dogs. How often do we pray for rain, cooler weather, warmer weather, sun, a cool breeze, or a cloud?
Just now, a bolt of lightning filled the sky, and I counted, “One thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, one thousand four…” and a clap of thunder filled the night air. The dog suddenly wants to sit in my lap for consolation from that loud thunder. And there it is, the sound of a Corinthian wind chime holding long the melodious tone as it sways in the long-awaited breeze bringing drops of ground-thirsty rain. The temperature outside has already started to drop and the night promises to be cooler than the last two weeks. It’s funny how we will pray for wind, like a soft breeze, not too much that will mess my hairstyle or cause a house to suddenly fly from Kansas to Oz.
This weather reminds me of Cambodia, where I rode on the front deck of a boat along the Tonle Sap River to see the floating village. As the wind blew on my face and the river water splashed along the sides of the boat, the sun’s rays beat down on my arms and face. My head was covered with a traditional karma in order to stay cool and I gazed at the dry season of this foreign landscape. I prayed for peace, understanding and hope. We are not called to be prosecutors or judges handing down sentences for inadequacies. We are called to be witnesses. That means that we are called to give first-hand accounts of how God works in our lives. That we provide the narratives to God’s actions within our daily walk. Does this mean that we are perfect and have all of the answers? Of course not, this means that we are reaching out to others at the places where they are and sharing our stories, our narratives, our eye-witness testimony.