Eye of the Storm
Yesterday, 3:20 p.m.:
The air was humid, the sky clear. But the breeze felt oddly threatening. I considered closing my bedroom window before we left the house.
We drove to piano lessons. I dropped my seven-year-old off at the old Tudor, with the ancient trees all 'round it. Sara and I went to the nearby library.
The sky was clear. We walked in, started picking books.
Suddenly, a sound like a train. We looked outside. The trees were horizontal. Some fell outright, ripped in half. A woman exclaimed, "Oh, no! A tree fell on those cars!" She trembled and babbled. One car was hers.
I felt afraid. Real fear. Primal and deep. Rushed Sara to an inner room. The bathroom of all things. "I wish Sonia was here," Sara said. She voiced my thoughts. I just wanted all my loved ones here, in this dark place, in my arms.
In ten minutes, the wind was past. We left the darkness of the library. Ran out through pelting rain. Shook ourselves into the car. Turned and turned and turned again, seeking a passable road, to go retrieve my Sonia.
It took a long time to get home. And when I set foot inside, I still felt fear. The world had toppled and boiled and raged. My bedroom floor was soaked. Some laundry I should have put away two days ago was also soaked.
In a strange half hour of peace, the sun came out, dazzling a million water droplets that hung on the pine. I left the shelter of the house, lay on my back under dripping branches, and opened my Psalm for the day...
God is a safe place to hide...
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
courageous in seastorm and earthquake,
Before the rush and roar of oceans,
the tremors that shift mountains.
Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
God of angel armies protects us.
The world will bring more dangers in its future, more storms like this, more troubles, destructions we have even brought upon ourselves and God's creation. This I surely know.
But I was reminded in this moment that there is something else to know. God is a safe place to hide. Because he exists beyond the storms, into eternity.
Quote from Psalm 46, The Message version. Fallen Branch photo by L.L. Barkat.