Village and Rain

In a small Japanese village, it hasn’t rained for two months. Crops are drying up, and the villagers are afraid they might not harvest at all.

Out of desperation, the villagers visit the local priest. “What should we do?” they ask. The highly revered priest swiftly answered them, “every morning, pray to god for 20 minutes.”

That’s exactly what they do the next day; on that very afternoon, it rains.

“The prayers are working! The prayers are working!” the villagers shouted in elation. Everybody thanked the priest and enjoy a plentiful harvest.

The next year, the same thing happens again. They start doing their prayer, but after days of praying, not even a single drop of rain falls from the sky. “Pray harder,” said the priest after being asked about the situation. As desperation mounts, they pray more and more each morning, yet the sun is still mercilessly scorching the crops.

The crops slowly die; at the end of the season, they harvest nothing.

The villagers point the blame at the priest. “We prayed for hours every day, yet the rain didn’t fall.” The priest, being cornered like a rat, surrendered. “I must admit that I don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes down to rain and prayer. The rain that fell last year—the one that saved the crops—was mere luck, and it had nothing to do with your prayer,” the priest admits.

Cowered in shame, the priest left the village.

In the midst of disappointment, sorrow, and anger of the failed harvest, the rain starts falling…