I stepped out onto the wet sidewalk this morning and looked up at the sky and tried to see whether the grey clouds were dissipating or gathering tighter, because sometimes on a dark day I just want to know whether the light is spilling in or fading away. I looked up to heaven and a single, thick drop of rain smacked my forehead, a blessing or an insult or maybe both.
There was no more rain, just that one drop. I let it stay, let the water run along my brow and down my cheek, and I walked with scraping feet. That drop was to me a baptism and communion and a kiss all in one. I don’t remember my baptism, and it’s been so long since I’ve had communion, or even a kiss on my forehead, for that matter, and so I want to believe that last drop hurtled earthward with the sole purpose of striking me as I looked up for it, smack between the eyes, which is where I have to be hit with something before it sinks in.
It’s a spot of grace that any of us wants, a single cool drop when we feel parched in our souls, like anything that might have grown there has withered. This grace in the small things has been for me the chanted liturgy, the sleeping sighs of my children, that spot of rain just when I am asking God if he is still there, if he can hear me, if he cares. A kiss on the brow or spit in the face, either are better than the silence, aren’t they?