Storms: dangerously close

We’re getting rain from heaven, much needed rain right outside my window.

I took one last look at the skies before closing my door for the evening. I saw it in the eastern and western skies.  It was all around.  Clouds–black, blue, gray. The dark.  The storm was raging. I saw it coming.  The weather reports predicted it.  The rain is coming.  Thunder. Lightening. Wind.

Moving our way.

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I used to be more afraid of the storms as a child.  Because of my Grandpa. Because of the time I saw fire pop off my Daddy and Mama’s medicine cabinet as lightening made its way into our home. Because of the rituals my brothers and sister experienced as children when storms came.  Life stopped as we knew it when the storm was coming.

We knew what to do.  We had rehearsed. We were ready. Every electrical cord in our house had to be unplugged and the doors, all closed. No more playing inside the house and definitely not outside.  No more moving around.  No more television. No more radio. We couldn’t go near the kitchen sink and if we had to go to the bathroom–well, you just waited.  We went to bed, period.

My Daddy was usually at work when the afternoon storms came and I can remember Mama and us kids all crowded on the bed close together.  And we would talk about the storms and how they would pass–how you listen for the loudness of the thunder.  The louder the thunder–the closer the lightening.   And there in the quietness and occasional storytelling we would rest.  And we waited.

My Grandpa had his own thoughts and fears about storms and the deadly flashes of light from the sky.   As a child my Grandpa’s Mama, my great-grandmother was struck by lightening.  Standing on her front porch.  And it left a deep scar in my Grandpa.  She lived but my Grandpa never could let go of his fear.

And on many afternoons and even late in the night he would drive the old brown Dodge Monaco–the car big enough to carry a family of eight and then some, honk his horn which was the warning sound for us to come and get into the car.  My Grandpa had heard the safest place to be during an electrical storm was in a car–grounded by the rubber of the tires. Now I don’t know if that’s true, but my Grandpa believed it.

Sometimes we refused to go out and he eventually gave up and he and my Grandma would ride the roads, waiting for the storm to pass.  And other times we would run out into the storm between lightening strikes and get into the car and ride what seemed like for hours until the storm passed.  Afraid.

I’m older now and here in the dark of the night I listen intently to the storm in the comfort of the warmth and the dry and I’m not frightened, at least not for myself.

And I think about you and I am afraid.

My heart longs to know…..

Where are you tonight on this stormy and rainy evening?

Are you under the bridge? The water tower?

Are you in a tent deep in the woods?

Are you sleeping in your car?

Are your children with you? Your family?

Are you hungry?

Are you lonely?

Are you dry?

Are you afraid?

What is it you want most?

What is it you need most?

What are your dreams?

What can I do to help you?

And the storm rages on.

“We have come dangerously close to accepting the homeless situation as a problem that we just can’t solve.”     

Linda Lingle 


Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 

Galatians 6:2 (KJV)







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