Friday, March 05, 2010

Testing testing

It's raining in the Langkloof. The farmers say it came just in time. It has been a long soaking rain. I saw a teacher or two standing out in the school quad, faces and hands turned up, standing still, receiving blessings. I myself absorbed it, that first day, the hem of my jeans soaking it up like blotting paper.

I looked out over the orchards of Twee Riviere and watched the trees, leaves upturned, apples glossy as the water washed over them. The spinach in my garden grew overnight. I had stopped watering my garden in the drought, conserving water. Its incredible, I thought, looking over their green leaves, what water can do.
I still need my garden, we need the food it supplies to us. The rain felt like mercy. Mercy raining down.

Today it rains again - and tests are being written. L and I have been composing tests for weeks, preparing children to write tests, and now finally marking tests. I have been wondering about the whole business, while I march my drama classes up and down to the hall, to rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Their little dramas are to be tested too.

My children haven't written many tests in their lives. Homeschoolers don't do much testing. Who needs the pressure? And anyway, I've often thought that it isn't really the best way to learn. There is a secret hidden in it all, I thought, and the rain brought me some kind of answer.

To me this whole life we live seems to be some kind of training ground. We have certainly been tested aplenty. Just this morning I read in the Word
  • ' Now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuiness of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ.'

Tests are necessary for some reason. Thats all I know. My children are bowed down by them, giving up play time to learn, sweating through the writing of them, anxious about their results. Proud when they do well, upset when they do not.

I received a distressed sms from a dear friend. They are being brought to breaking point - but they are not yet broken. They ask for prayer. Help during the testing, help to endure the testing....

I see them, and myself also, like a whole lot of apples. hanging onto those tree branches in the orchards. Hanging on for the rain, stretched to the limit of our endurance sometimes, using up all our resources.

Being tested. Its no good being tired of them, these tests. No good not wanting to participate. There is no choice, they just keep on coming, and we cling on, waiting for the rain. And then it comes, and it is all over, cooling, refreshing, saving.

Until the next time...
At the time of writing my father and my sister's only child are both very sick. We heard that a dear nanny is now very ill with THAT virus...
More dreaded tests come upon us.
I ask those of you who practise the presence of God, and who will pray for us to please do so.
Mercy, mercy, all around.

1 comment:

  1. We, too, soak up merciful rains ... just enough ... and the Lord is always faithful to provide for our needs. May you find that promised cloud just the size of a fist appearing over the horizon! With you, keeping our eyes looking up ...