“If you believe you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Mt. 21:22
I have learned more from Kate about compassion and empathy than from all of the books, theology, teaching and wise counsel yet received. Kate is my 27-year-old niece who happens to have Downs Syndrome. With a ready smile, a twinkle in her eye and a good word for all, she is a walking sunbeam who radiates love and Light wherever she goes. This is just one in my collection of Kate stories.
After months of moving rocks, plowing the field, planting grass and flowers, the wedding site was beginning to look green, lush, ready to welcome the couple and their guests for the long-awaited ceremony. June 30, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, would be dry and sunny. Tents were erected, tables set, flowers arranged as the dark clouds rolled over the back pasture. When the torrential rains began, Kate was standing under the barn’s awning with the groom and another son-in-law who were discussing possibilities of a plan B. Their faces reflected dismay, disappointment and helplessness as we all witnessed months of well-intentioned plans flooding away. Our groom was worried, our bride was frantic, the father of the bride was pacing, while I, the mother, anxiously tried to navigate and appease the minefield of volatile emotions that swirled about me.
Kate abruptly turned her back to the young men, looked out at the mountains, and with seemingly prophetic confidence, raised her hands and made her plea to God for the rains to stop for her cousin’s wedding. A few minutes later she turned back to them and smiled with all of the assurance of a ‘done deal’. Kate reassured the groom that it was all going to turn out fine (The groom confided in me later that at that point he knew that it would be alright). She then made her way up to the house where she told the bride and bridesmaids not to worry; God was going to stop the rain.
Rain continued to pour for the next couple of hours as guests began to pile into our living room wondering about our pan B. In our myopia, we hadn’t one. One hundred and twenty people in the living room would be mayhem…not a plan. At 5:05 (five minutes past the appointed time) those rain clouds parted to make way for azure blue skies. With jubilant hearts, the wedding party assembled to parade onto the wedding site. Mud-covered high heels were kicked off, and a joyous, soggy, barefooted ceremony ensued with all of the freshness and life of the rain itself. As vows were exchanged, a double rainbow punctuated the awe that already pervaded the scene.
For the remainder of the evening and well into the morning hours, the weather held. Kate cheerfully embraced new friends. When dancing began, Kate was one of the first to the dance floor and danced the whole night.
I know that the “rain falls on the just and the unjust”, but also believe that the simple prayers offered in faith by Kate carried immense force to move mountains that day, providing blessings of joy and relief for me and a host of others.