Last spring, our family took cover from our first tornado. Peering out the window, we could see the clouds had become a thick, green curtain from sky to soil. The winds raged, the water pounded and hail, the size of quarters, pelted our roof and garage door. Once in our tornado shelter, waiting for the storm to pass, the sounds alone, kept our eyes, dilated and fixed.
Last week, our family got an up close view of a tornado that touched down in Owasso; a little over a block or two away from our neighborhood. Standing in our front yard, we watched the tornado form. Many people stated, “What in the world were you doing outside watching? You should have been taking cover!” However, once we lay eyes on the clouds gathering, as if they were being drawn to a magnet, forming the tornado, we were mesmerized. It was unlike anything I have ever seen. I didn’t stay out long, as I had three little ones who needed me in our shelter. Yet, oddly enough, I am grateful I had a front row seat to the powerful, yet majestic patterns of weather.
*Picture taken by next door neighbor, from our front yard (Matt was busy taking video).
*Picture taken by a neighbor from behind a house two doors down from us.
Inside our shelter, under the stairs, the kids and I placed helmets on our heads, grabbed pillows, and laced up our shoes and listened intently to the radio broadcast. Our oldest did her best to talk to our youngest, who was in and out of panic, although she would have preferred to be in the front yard, watching the storm unfold with her dad. Our middle child vacillated between, staring at the wall, listening to the details unfold, asking numerous questions and tears. They only knew tornados by their legacy of destruction. In their young minds, if a tornado were coming, we would most likely lose our house and possibly a loved one.
The moment from that night that remains etched in mind, was when I glanced over to check on my middle boy, who seemed to have calmed. He said, “Momma, is it over now? Are we safe?” I replied, that yes, it was almost time to leave our shelter. Relief visibly covered his body. He un-fisted his right hand, and there in his palm, lay a plastic cross.
I never said a word to him about the cross, but joy welled up within. My boy was learning where to place His trust and who to hold onto when the storm rages and fear creeps in.
Lord, Jesus, thank you for the opportunity to see such indescribable weather patterns unfold. Yet, even more, I thank you that you are teaching my children that you are the safe place, the shelter from the storm, the Rock of Ages. Please continue to teach their daddy and me how to model to them that you are not only the safe place from physical storms, but you are also the safe place, and the one who can be trusted in the midst of life storms.