“Whoa!” my son exclaimed with delight as he and I watched the show from under cover of our balcony, “that last one was a doozy!” After days and days of gloriously hot sunshine and cobalt-blue skies, we were blessed with a thunderstorm, and it was a humdinger. Lightening tore through the night sky to expose the bright glare of the heavens, and thunder rumbled, cracked and clapped. Enormous drops of rain plopped and plunked to the ground in urgent rapid-fire, bouncing up in discordant dance before being swallowed up by the dry landscape and sewers.
Thunderstorm. I remember how, as a very young child, that one word sent cold shivers of fear up my spine. I’d quiver as I’d hear its rumblings in the distance, and bolt for cover to hunker down to bear through the nerve-wracking crashing and booming.
“Come on!” she’d excitedly whisper. “Let’s celebrate!” and she’d pull me under the awning on the stoop as the storm rumbled and cracked around us. “Let’s dance and praise!” she’d whoop and hoot, jumping and leaping in the joyful song and triumph of it all.
Fear seemed to give way to curiosity, and I soon couldn’t help but giggle and join in. Here was my Nanna, my amazing Grandmother shaking and boogying with such exuberance, and with a smile as wide as her laugh was deep. Hand in hand, we waltzed and shimmied, oohing with every flash, and erupting with laughter as thunder shook beneath our feet. We’d count the seconds between jagged streak of lightening and the roll of thunder to determine how close its approach or retreat. “And watch just how brilliant green the leaves and grass, and how vivid and lush and vibrant the colors in the garden when it’s all over!” she’d exclaim. Later, we’d wring out and towel off over a cup of warm milk, and I’d head to bed refreshed and relaxed. Sure enough, the next morning the garden sparkled with zesty fullness and hue as if freshly painted. All through my childhood we’d together listen for the cue of distant rumbling and jitter and jive before God during many a “Cloudburst Cantata”! Delicious!
Many a storm has rumbled and loomed on the horizon, yet flashbacks of our tangos patter as mist in the halls of my memory.
“Don’t fear the rumble for you are safe,” she’d say.
Don’t be startled by the flashes, nor frightened by the thunder for it will surely pass. Allow Jesus to take the lead as hand in Hand you sway and waltz, for even within its flashing and rumbling He drenches with His thrilling goodness. Keep both eyes and ears on Him as together you break through the dark clouds, refreshed and renewed. And look! How gloriously vibrant and vivid the lush landscape before you!
Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm.
Then you called out to God in your desperate condition; he got you out in the nick of time. He quieted the wind down to a whisper, put a muzzle on all the big waves. And you were so glad when the storm died down, and he led you safely back to harbor. So thank God for his marvelous love, for his miracle mercy to the children he loves.
(Psalm 107: 28-31)
Soil and Seed