sudden storms

Yesterday we were hit with a doozie. I don’t think it was in the forecast; it certainly wasn’t on my radar. But it came anyway, fast and furious. The winds whipped leaves and limbs into a frenzy, a deluge pounded against roof and windows. Before I knew what was happening, it was too late. And then I was an hour and a half mopping up puddles, wiping sills, absorbing excess in carpets and cushions. What a mess.

Sure, it was just a passing storm. Some collateral damage, some inconvenience, some danger. Life goes on. But that is not always the case.

Last week a sudden storm of another sort hit near home, in the form of a local tragedy. A week ago they were a happily married, high school sweethearts nearing retirement, contemplating the grand seasons ahead. Their children grown, they were entering into that sweet phase of reduced responsibilities, increased freedom and opportunities. They had every right, it would seem, to have those dreams. But today she is a heartbroken widow and single parent, facing a very different future.

My heart aches for her, for her family, for what is lost. She didn’t see it coming. She couldn’t have. This storm will not pass quickly. The damage is devastating; a wide swath of tangled debris that will take some time to clear. Beneath the rubble, I hope her foundation is firm, set on solid rock, that she may regain her footing. I pray that she finds peace in the process of healing. I pray because there is nothing else, nothing more, I can do.

Observing from a distance, I find myself asking, “Where is God in this?” It is certainly not clear from here. But I trust that he is there, somewhere. I know that he was not surprised by this tragedy. Somehow, some way, this, too, may be redeemed. That’s what he does.

Meanwhile, he promises to always be with us. Always. He promises peace of mind and heart, rest and new strength to those who trust in him. He promises that we will never be separated from His love. He promises to supply all of our needs; to carry our worries while he cares for us. He promises to give us hope and a future.

Some storms come so quickly there is no time to think. Then there is only instinct. Whenever it comes — and it comes to each one — may our preparations prove sufficient to withstand the onslaught.

~René Morley

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