Four weeks and the rains still hadn’t come. The air was parched and stale. The ground was cracked with lines like on the Wise Man’s face. The corn was spiked and wasn’t even as high as a grasshopper’s knee (and here it was the 4th of July).
Three weeks ago the stranger arrived. He was wiry and dark-skinned, with hair the color of dust and an uneven beard. “The rains will come soon.” He promised. To back up his prophecy, he said, “I won’t let water touch my lips until I can raise my head and let the refreshing rain water cool my thirst.” We called him the Rain Prophet.
A week later, the women were starting to wonder about the Prophet’s health. The men were growing suspicious. He started calling out in the streets. “God wants you to repent of your sin. If you don’t repent, the rains may never come.” The preacher said that Sunday in church that he was out of his mind with thirst. God would send rain when He was ready, according to his providential plan.
Last week, the Rain Prophet collapsed in the street. I saw it happen. The widow Esther helped him rise to his feet and guided him to her boarding house. Her brother Amos eyed him suspiciously. Esther wanted to at least wet a sponge and put it to his lips, but the Prophet refused. And Amos said it wouldn’t be right. So they waited and watched – for the rain or from a sign from God.
Four weeks and the rains still hadn’t come.
This morning Esther went to the well and found it dry. Amos decided something had to be done. He sent Esther to a neighbor’s house about a mile away to see if they had water to spare.
Amos wiped a dry smudge of his cheek and knelt down to pray beside the bed of the Prophet. He bent over, carefully picked him up and put him over his shoulder.
There was a slight breeze as he walked out to the well. The empty bucket was laying on the ground beside it. Amos raised his head to the heavens and cried out, “How long?” Then he threw the body of the Prophet into the well.
After a sacred pause, a waft of dust rose. Suddenly, the sky turned dark. There was a loud clap of thunder and a drop of rain fell from the sky. Amos raised his head, opened his mouth and tasted that it was good.
(The first line is a writing prompt from Today’s Author)