The rain enchants me with all its wild, foolish worship,
days when it is difficult to pray.
God is out there, up there, men say –
up there, or not at all: Heaven is a place
with a postbox, whose address we have lost.

But to regard the rainfall –
there is a pattern for our prayer
no Anglo-Saxon philanthropy
pledging help from its place, staying separate
from the slimy ditch, remaining sky-bound;

but each bead breaks off, is lost from its kind,
and descending, seeks the hollow deep,
mixing with low earthen things, becoming mud.

A young man came to Abba Sisoes, saying,
I see in myself that the remembrance of God
remains with me. But the elder replied,

It is no great thing that your thought should be with God.
But it is a great thing to consider yourself
lower than the whole of his creation.


Praise to the Maker of the torrent
and the hurricane,
praise for the fierce humility of rain:

whose motion will not end, neither come to rest
nor ascend again until, like grace,
it finds the lowest empty place.


Sketch of Matthew Baker by Adam Wagner, courtesy of Katherine Baker.
Rain photograph by Christopher / Unsplash.