I asked God to stop the rain, to allow a rainless window of only an hour so people would attend the parade for the Combat Veterans. I texted prayer warriors. And every half-hour, I checked the radar. 100% chance of rain. Not to worry—meteorologists have been known to make mistakes. Besides, God’s decrees overrule anything weather forecasters predict.
Only this time, God didn’t intervene. As the Fort Scott police and sheriff’s officers lined up at the airport, no one complained about getting wet, and when the soldiers exited the plane, one of the officers told all of the staff to remove their hats—the hats that would somewhat protect them from the rain– in honor of those they were meeting. So, they stood there, hats over hearts, they, our own local heroes, saying thank you to their fellow protectors.
Leaving the airport before the caravan, I drove through town, praying harder for the rain to let up, and if that didn’t happen, that people would forego the bad weather and support the troops. I couldn’t help but tear up, seeing our American flag draping between two firetrucks on 10th and National. Friends congregating nearby with a huge, homemade banner. Houses sporting the Red, White, and Blue. Community College students lining the median on Highway 69. School children waiting in the rain with flags and posters. (Thank you, Mr. Beckham, school administrators and teachers for making this happen.) Civil War reenactors sitting atop their horses while carrying American flags and saluting these national champions. And then there was the mother of a veteran, waving pom-poms, alone at the end of Wall Street, jumping and cheering.
Small town caring at its best.
Still, God did not stop the rain.
The day after the parade, I spoke with Jenn, my daughter-in-law who, along with Adam, her husband, worked tirelessly to organize this event. When I asked her what the soldiers’ favorite part of the day had been, she did not hesitate. They all agreed. “That people would stand in the rain for us.”
It was the rain that blew them away (thankfully, not literally).
At that moment, it dawned on me. Who wouldn’t eagerly leave school or their job or organize a yard get-together on a sunny day for such an occasion? But our citizens refused to let bad weather prevent them from saying thank you for the enormous sacrifices these men made for us.
God did not stop the rain. No doubt because Isaiah 55:8-9 is true. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
I need to remember that.
Rain or shine.