There are moments in a parent’s life that can shape and define a child’s. In this instance, a mother had the opportunity to “practice what she preached” in a very literal way. She never expected to be given a choice like this. Her words had been meant as encouragement and hope for the future. But when her daughter took them literally and presented a life-changing question…what else could a mother possibly do?
A little girl had been shopping with her mom in Walmart. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence.
It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there, under the awning, just inside the door of the Walmart.
We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day.
I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.
Her little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in, “Mom let’s run through the rain,”she said.
“What?” Mom asked.
“Let’s run through the rain!” She repeated.
“No, honey. We’ll wait until it slows down a bit,” Mom replied.
This young child waited a minute and repeated: “Mom, let’s run through the rain.”
“We’ll get soaked if we do,” Mom said.
“No, we won’t, Mom. That’s not what you said this morning,” the young girl said as she tugged at her mom’s arm.
“This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?”
“Don’t you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, ‘If God can get us through this, He can get us through anything!'”
The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn’t hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one left. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say.
Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child’s life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.
“Honey, you are absolutely right. Let’s run through the rain. If GOD let’s us get wet, well maybe we just need washing,” mom said.
Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They got soaked.
They were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.
Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories. Don’t forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories every day.
This mother’s choice influenced her daughter that day. She chose to show that she meant what she said. And as it happened, she touched a bunch of strangers waiting for the rain to let up at a Wal-Mart, of all places. Everyone walked (well, ran) through the rain and remembered what it was to feel hope and to appreciate life. All thanks to the curious question of a 6-year-old girl.
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