The wind here can be strong in the spring. I often have to put my folding camp chairs back upright when I go outside. Once when Maggie and I were waiting in the car for Charles at the gas company I pointed out about 70 tumbleweeds piled up on their chain link fence, frozen in mid-tumble. She looked at them and asked, "Those are tumbleweeds?" and at that moment the wind shifted and those tumbleweeds all came tumbling at us like a stampeding herd. We both squealed because it was startling and funny. For about 30 seconds it seemed like we were being attacked by them, barreling at us and scratching on the car.
Today the wind just seemed like a very bad memory, knowing what damage it caused across the middle of the United States.
Then this morning my husband got an email from someone who just moved from this area. His former neighbor's son had just died. Charles met him briefly while helping this friend pack his truck for the move, so he felt compelled to minister to him. As we drove out to their house in the next town over, he explained to me what had happened. The man's grown son had been helping roof another neighbor's house when a gust of wind lifted the roof off beneath him and hurled him down. He was found in the rubble 300 feet away.
That was on Monday, the same day as the Moore, Oklahoma tornado.
Today was calm, sunny, and peaceful. No one answered the door of the house, although the driveway was filled with cars and trucks. The wind whipped around the house.... they were probably in the back having lunch and didn't hear the knocking. So Charles left a sympathy card with his phone number on the porch, held there with a large rock so the wind wouldn't steal it away.
Dust devils spiraled up on the open fields. I counted 8-10 of them on the way back home. I had no fascination for them today, only sadness.
“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:11-12After the wind blows through and the violence of the storm is over, God is there in the gentle whisper, in the aftermath while we are standing there disheveled and bewildered, quiet and solemn.
He is there. God help us in the wake of the storms.