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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Crashing of Thunder

I just heard a severe weather warning for the first time in my remembrance. Grey clouds fill the sky overhead. The pines around my house sway in the strong winds. There is no rain yet, but the air is filled with swirling dust. Dead leaves left among the boughs blow across the deck.

It’s just after 5 o’clock on a June afternoon, and it’s already growing dark. When the lights in my bedroom blink, I tell my sister to turn off our desktop computers. A few heavy drops of rain begin to fall. This morning when we had a short shower, the songbirds rejoiced in the trees. No birds sing now.

I hear the first thunder growling from the south. The rain is uncertain; it pauses, then pours down for a couple minutes, coming and going. The thunder is growing closer. At last, the first flash of lightning illumines the sky. A moment later, thunder follows. Sirens wail not far away.

The rain now is what might be called a downpour. The cool shower cleanses the air, washing away the heat of the past several days. Its refreshing scent floods through my open window. Small rivers begin to form at the edges of the street. Another flash. One, one-thousand; two, one-thousand; three, one-thousand… I count to six before the thunder crashes. The booming lasts for nearly another six seconds.

I listen to more sirens, this time coming from the opposite direction. The distinct sound of a fire engine’s horn reminds me of the danger brought with this storm. I heard on the radio that a boy was struck with lightning last night.

A train whistle blows. It repeats itself again and again, gradually fading in the distance.
The sky lightens as coming nearly to a complete halt, the rain merely patters now. Several birds chirp, eager perhaps for the feast of worms that will surface.


Honestly, I fear yet delight in storms. Their power excites me. My favorite thing to do during thunderstorms is read the last few chapters of Job and the passages in the gospels where Jesus calms the storm. The elements may be mighty, but He is mightier still.
“He covers his hands with the lightning
and commands it to strike the mark.
Its crashing declares his presence…”
- Job 36:32-33

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