Whipping its tail through the heavy air,
It slaps the nonsensical
Right out of my consciousness,
Making room for weightier things.
kpeterson April 4, 2013
I started to write this poem after a brief, but brilliant, electrical storm passed through our town in the wee hours of Easter Sunday morning. If you categorize storms, file it under “Shock and Awe”. Even the old timers couldn’t remember thunder as loud and as close as we experienced that night. It woke us (minus one teenager, amazingly) out of a dead sleep. Both my husband and I woke from our stupor whispering, “Earthquake!” scrambling to recall the most recent wisdom on riding a temblor out. I don’t recall thunder ever shaking our house like that before, and we’ve been through a few, being California natives and all.
The storm blew through quickly, but left me laying wide-eyed, heart-a-jitter in bed, pondering the nature of existence, the relative powerlessness of man, and the extreme enormity and superiority of nature in this universe. In the blink of an eye, the power of the super-natural snapped my petty concerns right into their appropriate perspective.
And, forgive me for bragging, but I am an expert at anticipating, dwelling on, and revisiting, super-normal petty concerns! I can build mountain ranges from mole hills like nobody’s business. The daily wrestling with greed, pride, worry, etc., etc., can keep me sidetracked from the life I’d like to live.
And then, along comes a thunderclap, and much snaps into place: I am a guest here- I am simply passing through. My needs are met, I have so much to be grateful for, and I don’t have nearly as much control as I think I do. That last one is truly good news to me, even though the reminder is a little disconcerting. Ironically, when nature leaves us nonplussed and a little rattled, things tend to fall into place.
***Updated: 7:20 Thursday evening…because my friend, Tracey Boynton, said the same thing much more concisely and beautifully. Fortunately, she gave me permission to quote her here. I’m just wishing I’d had her write this BEFORE I posted! But here it is. Enjoy.
She says, “… You articulated what I sat there mutely thinking when I heard the same stunning thunderstorm Easter morning. Was it an ancient echo of the stone rolling away? Was El Shaddai giving us a little insight into who He really is with a tiny blast of power from one small finger? We who can get so wrapped up in our own magnificence have no choice but to tremble in complete awe before “He Who is the Great I Am” when His power is let loose. Thankfully, He also loves us with unquenchable passion, and a heart that sees us where we will be, not where we are right now. Such truths are almost too great to take in. Such power and such love. What a God. What a Father. He is ours!”
Amen, Tracey. Amen.