Monday, August 28, 2017

Qatar: The Metaphor of the Raining Dates

It is the apex of the summer here in Qatar, with a magnitude of fiery heat that can almost squeeze you--leaving you with not much breath. Happily, there is a little reprieve/shade under an occasional tree. But amidst the sweltering heat, there is a harvest emerging here--a bumper date crop on the landscape. In fact, the golden nuggets are hanging in clusters on many trees. And just when you least expect it, the date, the golden fruit of the Middle East, plops in front of you. In this summer desert, where you think nothing could ever grow, let alone live, a glorious, sweet date drops from the seeming sky.

Bringing the rain of dates down in Qatar
The second blog I wrote after I came here three years ago: Embracing the Dates
The other day when I was swimming next to some date palms, all of a sudden a few dates dropped from their perch. I squinted, and looked up--gazing at the harvest dangling above me. I thought, just as in life when we have our most fiery afflictions, the sweetness eventually does come. In places where there seems to be no end to the furnace we are living in, the peace, understanding, healing arrives. As Jeffrey R. Holland said, "Don't you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. ... It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come."

Our pool where the sighting of "raining dates" happened.
Sometimes we might feel shriveled and almost extinguished in our deserts. But truly, a sweet, abundant harvest awaits. And sometimes it is just above you all along, ready to descend any moment. If you get a little assistance to pick the dates like I did, I promise the harvest will pour down. You can hardly pick them all up.

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