I wake to the rolling and rumbling in the distance. 1:45AM. Wondering if (hoping?) it was just something on the roof. But no, the rumbles grow. A thunderstorm approaches. The counting begins. Sheer force of the King of Nature. Silhouettes of the barred window panes flash bright light across the dark house. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8-one-thousand Wind rushes through like a squire He announces loud and clear, “Arise! His Omnipotent Lord of the Storm is here!!” Then the pounding begins. Jamie says the heavens try to 'drown you in a vertical river'. She's right. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6-one-thousand The beating of hundreds of drums. Gallons of water. Pounding on the tin roof overhead. In a loud steady beat. So loud you cannot hear your own voice. I try not to remember the colleague's roof ripped off by this Wind. Another blinding flash. The shape of our papaya tree outside is etched on the insides of my eyelids. 1, 2, 3 – one-thousand That's my cue. Once it is less than 5 miles away, we manually disconnect our house from the city's electrical chaos. Storms can move fast, and we've lost several appliances to neighborhood lightning. (In the mountainous region to the south of us, they boast the highest number of lightning strikes per mile in the world. Here in town several people have been killed by lightning.) Then the water creeps in. That window I didn't latch. The floor floods, seeping into the small rug. This time it's not toys left unattended. Or books. When the full force covers us, I can't help but recognize my place. I stand by the back door, in awe. At 2:30AM. I am confronted with a terrible Force, Power, Strength. I can only try to keep my books dry.
I feel so finite, infantile, tiny, powerless.
I am tired, but could never sleep through this. I don't want to miss it. As I watch the flashing, beating, pounding, blowing I worship. The only song that seems to fit... “My God is so big so strong so mighty! There's nothing my God cannot do!”
Eventually, wind blows over, pounding turns into dripping, and water is mopped up.
I reconnect our power system and head back to bed.
And the question lingers in my sleepy head: If this is God's power in an everyday thunderstorm,
what must his wrath be like?