the day after the storm

It’s been a week since we experienced our first Kansas thunderstorm. Think Dorothy in a giant, echoing dishwasher.

Last Thursday night, we were nestled all snug in our beds when out of nowhere came the strong wind. Bellowing thunder. Rain whipping against the windows. Four paws pouncing on my back.

The paws belonged to my dog. Her least favorite thing in the world is a thunderstorm. (Her most favorite thing in the world is rotisserie chicken.)

Our bed was damaged in our recent move to Kansas, so my husband and I are sleeping on our mattress and box springs on the floor. Kind of like camping.

This arrangement gives our small dog access to our bed. When the thunderstorm hit, our terrified terrier was glued to my side, trying to burrow under the covers.

It’s not easy to sleep that way, unless you’re like my husband who can sleep through anything.

forward march

Not me. I laid awake in bed, holding my dog, listening to the sky rattle and hum and shake and scream.

As I shared in Moon Walk, where we live in Kansas is flat and mostly devoid of trees. Nothing but God and ground and sky. Thunder echoes and booms like tympani in a large, empty room.

Nothing to buffer the wind. No gusts either. No chance to clear the hair from your face or adjust your vision. Kansas wind is sustained, constant, relentless.

Rain flies horizontally across the prairie. It attacks the house. A smattering of bullets against the siding.

“Jeff, do you hear that?” I whispered. “Should we go to the basement?”

The sounds reverberated, bouncing to the earth and back to the sky then down again. Angry and loud.

In my mind, I knew this was just a thunderstorm. It was not tornadic. It could not hurt me inside my house.

Even if it was tornadic and plowed my house to the ground—even if it killed me, it could not destroy me. Easier to write those words now than to remember them in the storm.

drying out

Storms are like this. They seem to erupt out of nowhere. They are no respecter of persons. None of us is immune.

Storms may devastate, frighten, hurt, and kill. They can last minutes or decades. Afterward, it may take years to rebuild.

But in Christ there is a place storms cannot touch. A place sealed and safe.

And there is a Person present in the storm. He stands beside us in the suffering and terror, even in death.

God, help me remember this because I know I will forget.

Next time the sky tears open and rages against me, next time I tremble, remind me You are with me. There is nothing to fear.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” from Isaiah 43:1-3 NIV

Never Let Go by The David Crowder Band.

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19 Responses to Thunderstorm

  1. Amen.

    We haven’t used a bedframe in around five years. One upside – less dust bunnies.

    My father and step-father always thought Louisiana had the worst weather. Then I moved to St. Louis and they were sure the bad weather had followed me.

    I have really come to dislike midwestern weather and would prefer the ocassional hurricane to the relentless, constant squall lines that inevitably seem to bear purple right. over. my. house.

    Half seriously I’ve told my wife I want our next house to be underground. But that means never living in Louisiana again… and I do dream of living back home again.


    But Kansas?! At least Nebraska has some trees and a bit more rolly hills (I had kin there). I’ll stick to watching the Wizard of Oz and my wife will stick to the books. :)

  2. Beautiful. I love, love, love that Scripture passage, Aimee.

  3. Anita S

    Your description of the storm is so intense I could imagine myself there. But the best part is the reminder that we are not alone, and the quote from Isaiah. Thank you for this!

  4. Pingback: The Good Shepherd | Anita Simpson Blog

  5. I loved your description of Kansas, “Nothing but God and ground and sky.” and the image of the rain moving sideways. (The reminder that Christ is always with us in the storms wasn’t too shabby either!) :)

    • It’s the best way I know how to describe Kansas to the people in my life who’ve never been here before (which is most of the people in my life!).

      Having lived in Chicago, the Windy City, the wind here has been a shock to me. When it gets going, it doesn’t stop. Looking out the window of my house during a windy rainstorm is like looking out the window of a jet plane. The rain really flies horizontally. Like nothing I’ve experienced on the ground before…

  6. Thank you for the reminder!

  7. We actually slept with our bed on the floor for years. Waited til we could afford a whole new set…

  8. Outstanding post and one that I would do well to remember most days of my life. What with all the fear and stuff. We talked about this before and this is such a wonderful posting about that subject. I love the scripture you posted as well. God bless you Aimee and thanks for the wonderful words to brighten my day.

  9. I love your description of the prairie wind this blog post, Aimee. There are no trees but the wind is constant and indeed relentless. These are beautiful words to remember and it is difficult to remember when life delivers us a storm. Thank you for your amazing writing and sharing!