Tornadoes and Disasters: Breathing Through Storms

Apparently, this is the season for CRAZY thunderstorms and tornado watches/warnings every night. People keep telling me it’s not typical for this region of the country…??? The third night, maybe the second night we were in the new townhome, we woke up in the middle of the night to the most intense thunder. The sirens from IU were going off in the distance, and we had no idea what was going on, whether the house would crash in on us, if we should call someone…if we should get the babies. It passed fairly quickly but it was disconcerting! Thankfully, someone recently from the church gave us a weather radio, which will be helpful in case the power goes out and we need information.

Last week there were more storms and one evening we ended up having a tornado warning until 2 am. At around 10 pm the power went out, and despite our reluctance to wake up babies that we worked hard to help fall asleep, we groped around in the dark and grabbed them. Amazingly they stayed asleep in their bouncy seats as we brought them down to the half-bathroom. While we waited until the expiration of the warning, Andy and I, and Ellis tried to sleep on the living room floor and the babies stayed asleep in the bathroom.

It was a nerve-wracking experience. The wind seemed determined to bring down the trees in our neighborhood. The thunder felt like it was right above us and enveloped us in continuous collisions. All I could do was breathe and pray for calm. I kept thinking about Alabama and Joplin, and all the terrible destruction there. Somehow we made it through, although I know many IU buildings and some trees in Seminary Park weren’t so lucky.  The story of the Piedmont family just breaks my heart as I try to imagine the incredible grief these people must be feeling because of this tragedy.

I can’t help but think of the disciples with Jesus on the boat in that storm. Their terror and fear suddenly doesn’t seem so strange and comical because I always thought that since they were fishermen it wouldn’t be a big deal. Storms are storms, whether physical or emotional, and I remember now – after a couple of summers being a backpacking guide and getting caught unexpectedly in storms with lightening – that Mother Nature shouldn’t ever be taken so lightly. “Save us,” is a prayer that makes sense now at so many levels, and totally appropriate for so many scenarios. Even now, in the aftermath of the storms, I keep praying for all those folks who’ve lost loved ones, “save us…”

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