My daughter Megan must have been 11, maybe 12, when she did something I’ll never forget.
She and I had been to the grocery store on a rainy day in the spring when I pulled the car into the driveway at home. As soon as I stopped, Megan abruptly opened the passenger-side door, kicked off her sandals, bolted barefoot to the front lawn, spread her arms out as wide as wings, cocked her head back, and opened her mouth as wide as a gate, allowing the gentle rain to wash over her while drinking it in.
For me, it was like watching God’s grace wash over her. I remember being mesmerized as I sat behind the wheel and watched her receive the showering rain in such a free and glorious and uninhibited way. I cherish the memory of it, calling it up occasionally like an old snapshot from a family album.
Luther wrote in his Commentary on Galatians that just as the earth cannot engender the rain it receives, but rather receives the rain “like a mere gift of God from above,” we receive God’s grace in the same way. We can no more use our own devices to make it rain–to procure and produce rain for the earth–than Megan could create rain to fall on her receptive face.
Megan simply allowed herself to receive it, to let the rain rinse over her. We need only be still and receive God’s grace, and joyously let it wash over us, like free and grateful children of God.