I was so mesmerized by the black swirling rain that obliterated my view of the pool fifteen feet away, that I didn’t even think “tornado’ until it had moved its trail of havoc down the street. Not that I know what I would have done if it were, but I probably wouldn’t keep standing in front of the patio doors.
After the tempest passed, I surveyed the damage. Apart from some of those nasty sweet gum trees losing their heads, all was well. One lawn chair floated upside down in the pool and yet the other was undisturbed. Same chairs, same place. One gone, the other left. It reminded me of Luke’s warning—“ two will be in a bed, one will be taken the other not; two women will be grinding, one will be taken the other left” (Luke 17:34-35).
This was just a sudden violent storm, not a tornado, earthquake, or tsunami, still it pressed its point—all man’s might comes to naught in a few furious seconds.
The fallen tree had wiped out the fence, leaving a gap which I was sure the pooch would be happy to notice. We have a cute little electric chain saw that works great when there is electricity, but is as useful as a flashlight full of dead batteries when there’s not. My husband left for work, saying he would come back to cut the tree out of the fence as soon as the electric came on.
I thought I’d lighten his load and surprise him by chopping all the bushy branches from the main trunk. Hoping a sweaty, filthy woman who was attacking a fallen sweet gum tree with a pair of lopping shears wasn’t worthy of the evening news, I kept my face turned away from the helicopter that hovered overhead.
As I worked, I prayed for a friend who had called. Although she lives elsewhere and wasn’t affected by my weather, she was experiencing her own emotional storm. I wanted to intercede for her and hoped the Lord would accept my prayers even as I lopped branches, but I worried whether I should be on my knees in undistracted petition.
At some point in my sweaty labor, I wondered if any of the spectators out ogling the aftermath would stop and offer to help. For some reason, I was certain if someone did, I would know the Lord heard my prayers of intercession for my friend.
A mother and daughter stopped to chat and then passed by. Two boys taking advantage of the tree- blocked street zipped by on skateboards. A tired man stopped to say he’d lost his barn. Electric trucks, road crews…slowed to look and continued on.
I chopped and prayed. Two hours passed.
A teenage boy walked by, stopped, exchanged news of ruined roofs and missing trampolines. And then, there it was. God’s sweet assurance in the storms. The boy surveyed my mess.
“Do you need some help?”