The spring rains did not come and the summer heat was worse than it had ever been. All the fields in the area were parched, dusty, and brown. Our livelihood, our way of life, was wilting away. Most mornings we would search the sky for any sign of relief, for a hint of rain on the horizon. Days turned into arid weeks and soon became months. Everywhere faithful people prayed.
The ministers, priest and rabbi of our local churches announced that there would be a special service to pray for rain on the following Saturday. They asked that everyone bring an object of their faith. So come Saturday morning we all gathered in the town square. People came with anxious faces and hopeful hearts. Looking around you could see the Bibles, Book of Prayers, crosses, crucifixes, pictures of Jesus – and you could tell the Catholic because of their rosaries.
And so we prayed. We prayed a mighty prayer of praises for God, praises for His divine protection, and petitions for rain. We sang, prayed some more, and heard the minister proclaim our faith in Jesus. And then we prayed some more. Just as the hour of prayer was concluding, and as if by some divine cue, a soft rain began to fall. Cheers swept the crowd as they held their treasured objects high in gratitude and praise. The Pentecostals were shouting out their Hallelujahs with arms raised in ecstasy. The Catholics even got excited and were waving their rosaries, whipping them around in a frenzy.
But one symbol of faith seemed to overshadow all the others; one person had brought an umbrella.