Wednesday, August 1, 2012

God is in the Storm

I love summer storms. I’ve always been a little odd in that I like dark weather. Give me overcast instead of sunny any day. Maybe I’ve just gotten sunburnt too many times. There’s a dark beauty in gloomy weather. Summer storms in particular I find attractive. 

It’s a sweltering, sunny, Southern summer day. Everything’s a little too warm, too bright. So by late afternoon, the sky suddenly gets very dark. It’s not the same kind of dark that comes from night; it’s more violet and more anticipating. You can feel the coming storm. You can feel the rain in your blood before it even starts.

The rain is always heavy in summer storms. The sky breaks open and water pours. It makes a delightful sound, washing over the heated ground, immediately cooling, cleaning. You can hear the lightning crackle and feel the thunder rumble. I stayed cocooned inside and watch in awe at nature’s powerful display. 

There is something primal about getting caught up in the storm, paying extra attention to what’s happening in the sky. A couple weeks ago, a storm knocked out the power, and the only source of light I had was my scented candles. I think there is a different mindset that comes from having to make our own light, from living in a cloistered world where power doesn’t flow out the walls and give us every entertainment, every bit of information, and every contact we desire.  I feel connected to humanity by the severed electronic links.Too often I’m distracted by my electronics and calendars and plans to stop and let my mind and body be swept up by the natural environment. I’m disconnected from it all, in some sanitized lab of our technology’s own creation.  But summer storms draw my attention away from the distractions. I feel appropriately small and insignificant. The rest of this world is on the other side of the storm. It’s just me and the power and the beauty.  

I feel disconnected from my own time, and I feel connected to all other times, because forever, people have been struck by the force of summer storms and paused to admire the bleak beauty. And when the week is right, the storm comes every afternoon. An uncontrolled routine. And then I’m left unsatisfied on a lovely evening when it doesn’t storm. 

God in the storm, reaching out, displaying His power, cooling the overheated earth. If only I could turn off the lights and pay attention to Him more often, when it’s sunny and silent. Instead, He crackles and rumbles and screams until I light candles and stare out the window in awe. It shouldn’t take such lengths to get my attention. But I’m glad He does. And He does in such a beautiful way. His beauty will always draw me back to Him. I’ll be brought to my knees in awe and fascination over and over again, unable to find words to describe such power. An uncontrolled routine. A love that doesn’t diminish no matter how many times it’s repeated. Bring on the storm.

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