June Storms

Severe thunderstorm with a clear slot near mai...

With all the unsettled weather this month, my husband (Ernie) and I find ourselves growing a little more tense with each passing day. This week has been especially hard for us.

Last year on Fathers Day, a severe thunderstorm with damaging winds was predicted. We had received so much rain already that month, the ground was like a sponge. It was humid that particular day, with an eerie feel in the air. And that night, the prediction came true. The wind started blowing way up high, actually more like roaring … like a freight train. And, as we huddled together in the office closet with our large dog and small cat, we prayed.

We had lost power and, after the wind died down enough and we felt brave enough to poke our heads out of the closet to look out the windows, we could only get a peek at the damage through the lightning strikes. But, it was enough to make our hearts sink.

Trees laid everywhere … some blocking the driveway, some laying on buildings. Our neighbors, out to survey the damage, called us to confirm what we already feared … we had a lot of trees down and the road past our place was blocked. But, we wouldn’t realize the enormity of the storm until morning.

We were safe, our pets were safe and our house had suffered minimal damage (thank you, God!). But, the lawn was littered with cottonwood branches and leaves, looking like someone sprinkled green confetti all over it. Sides of our house and buildings were plastered with leaves.

The center trunk of our 150 year old maple tree at the end of the driveway lay on the ground and the tree itself now had a peculiar ‘L’ shape to it. Its majesty would no longer be the talk of the neighborhood.

The stately spruce trees which once stood like guards on the other side of the driveway lay on their side, like fallen soldiers. Others simply had their tops snapped off and now stood forlornly looking like headless horsemen.

Some of the trees across the road had toppled too, pulling the power lines down with them. The road was closed to all traffic and everyone living on our road had to make life adjustments with generators and bottled water as we all waited for our turn in the power company’s schedule.

But, the worst of it all was the big cottonwood tree that came down and nearly destroyed the Cross The World workshop … a big hole in the roof, a corner torn off. The building, a converted granary built many long years ago, had even shifted and twisted a little on its foundation. But, it was still standing! Thank you, God!!

DSC00889

Friends appeared like bees on watermelon and, for 2 long hot, humid days, bobcats and chain saws worked together to start the resurrection of our homesite. Piles of trees appeared here; piles of brush grew over there. People walked our grounds where the lawnmower couldn’t go to pick up branches. Spare generators were brought in so we could keep freezers and refrigerators going. Food and bottled water appeared in the trunks of cars. People that didn’t know each other worked side by side and new friendships were formed. There was even some laughter! And, God was there the whole time … smiling … loving us … giving us a life lesson.

It was a long summer for us but, through it all, we found out that we really are as sturdy and solid as that old granary. Storms come and go through our lives; we shift and twist on our foundation but we won’t go down.

Now, it’s a year later and this stormy weather is a reminder to us that when we start to worry about the wind, rain and hail, God is with us. He will help us. He loves us. And, this time, it’s our turn to smile. Thank you, God!!

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