Oct 30 2012
I write these words on the first day of what the news media have called, “Frankenstorm.” Former Hurricane Sandy is joining forces with one or two storms from the north and west, and the result will be (as the news media have frantically promised us), “The End of the World as We Know It.”
The news media like to scare us. It’s how they make money. They are perpetually crying wolf into ears that increasingly tune them out. One of these days, they are going to be telling the truth, and those who ignore them are going to be in a world of trouble.
Even knowing that, Fluffy and I made no plans for this storm. We usually go to the supermarket on Saturdays, but we didn’t even make our weekly trip this week. Fluffy may be able to tell you where our flashlights are, or the candles and matches, or other emergency essentials. Not I.
Friends of ours, Mike and Jill, just called to say they were going out to get supplies and ask if we needed anything. I couldn’t think of a thing, but it made me feel fuzzy and warm to know were being thought of like that.
The big concession I made today was that after my shower I put on a flannel nightgown. I think we’ll have a bowl of soup for lunch. We’ll wrap ourselves in a blanket and watch some television. Maybe we’ll make some popcorn.
The rain has been steady since last night, but it hasn’t been a hard rain. Hurricanes don’t usually come with thunder and lightning, so we haven’t had any pyrotechnics. I have been listening for our wind chime but have only heard two little dings out of it so far. It was so quiet that Fluffy checked to see if the clapper had fallen off. No, it hasn’t. The wind just isn’t strong enough yet to inspire the clapper to clap.
A friend, Erin, reports that weather reports at her home in Southern Virginia have predicted she will get “between two and 48 inches of snow” before this is over. That’s some prediction! As you can imagine, she’s hoping to get the two inches rather than four feet. You never can tell what a storm will bring.
We never had garages in the houses where I grew up. During hurricanes I liked to sit in the car in the carport and listen to the rain. Hurricanes were magical things to me. After the storm, my family would emerge from the house like a turtle from its shell. We would wander the streets of our little Louisiana town, seeing what damage the storm had wrought.
I don’t want to think of people being without power, or trees falling onto people’s homes, or people’s houses being flooded, or lives being lost. All of those things sadden me.
And yet — rain doesn’t say any of those things to me. In the rain in the wind, I hear the voice of God. He says, “Here I am. I love you. I speak words of comfort to you. Look at the world I have created! Aren’t you grateful for sturdy roofs and warm furnaces and corn that pops and loved ones to snuggle with and lights that turn on with the click of a switch? Not everyone has those things, but you do. Do you know how blessed you are?”
I hear the rain and the wind swirl around me and answer wholeheartedly, “Yes, Father. I do.”