One of my favorite things is opening windows in the spring letting outdoor sounds and fresh air renew and revitalize the winter-staled inside. With 70 degree weather one afternoon I was able to lift the sashes, so unblocked rumbles of thunder were rolling into the house portending rain. My ears rejoiced at the sound of drops beginning to fall…. ah, how I loved being cozy at home in the midst of a storm.
The gift of peace in the middle of thunder and lightning I can surprisingly attribute to my earthy father. Shortly after we crossed state lines to live close to my dad’s new job (not too long after my mother returned from her six year stint at a mental hospital), our home was surrounded by blinding flashes and deafening crashes during one very active storm. (Moving from the city to the country, I had never experienced anything like it.) Around seven or eight years old, I was overcome by a petrifying, all consuming fear; one that I could not control. In an unaccustomed act of wisdom, my dad took me by the shoulder and propelled me outside to stand under our small porch roof. There he held me close to his side as the violence raged around us…when I close my eyes I can still see what seemed to be a multitude of white, jagged bolts filling the black sky. Safely (oddly enough) tucked under my father’s arm listening to his soothing, calm voice the fear gradually ebbed, and I began to relax and actually enjoy the raw, primeval beauty nature was revealing.
Appreciation of these visual fireworks has become tempered over the years with a healthy respect for the danger inherent in such a disturbence. My startled heart still pounds when a bolt strikes too close with the resulting overpowering din. My concern for those who might be caught in bad weather is accentuated by the ongoing severe injuries suffered by my husband’s nephew when hit by lightning approximately 24 years ago. Yet, within certain boundaries, I am able to enjoy a thunder storm with a sense of security and safety.
Recently as I was walking with my Lord on my tunnel journey, He impressed me with the thought that I needed to value and be thankful for my mom and dad. Appalled, I ignored Him and pushed His words aside. As I reminisce they have returned to me, and I understand now this memory is meant to be a vehicle for obedience to that which I had previously refused to consider. Internally I am rebelling, but I must write these words…I am thankful for my dad’s action that helped me face the thing I feared. I can go no further than this expression; the impact of my acknowledgement has sent tremors echoing through my being. God will help me process the results of this shifting of my soul’s tectonic plates due to my step of faith, but until that has been accomplished I can thankfully say I am tucked under my Heavenly Father’s arm (Psalm 36:7), safe in this storm of changing perceptions and holy transformation.