A young child stood in the middle of her grandparent’s basement.
She was looking up at the ceiling for a few minutes, but saw nothing because it was really her ears that were glued to the sounds outside the backdoor.
The sirens weren’t on, but the thunder rumbled in the distance. Large rain drops randomly splattered against the brick house while her grandfather tried to tune the radio to the weather.
She sighed, shrugged her shoulders and then sat on the bottom of the stairs. Blinking her eyes several times to try to see around the dim room, she noticed her brother playing with some toy without a care. Her grandmother was in the laundry fussing about something while walking about wringing her hands.
A heavier sigh came out of the girl. She thought about how this time in the basement went past the fifth finger on one hand and it’s only a couple of weeks into summer vacation. There was an urge to holler at her grandmother, telling her that a tornado wasn’t coming for them. She wanted to yell that sitting in a dark basement wouldn’t protect them if a funnel knocked at the door. These words would have fallen on deaf ears because her grandmother was afraid.
The elderly lady was faithful to the cross yet feared many things. She never read God’s word for herself so if the priest never instilled truth around certain aspects of living, she really didn’t know what to do. Her faith was often extra blind and led to a lot of hand wringing.
Psalm 61:3 NIV For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
Grandma once told me of the time that her basement received the crack in the middle of the floor. It was a stormy day. The city was still fairly young and without sirens. Random farm land still spread its way through the area and alerts mostly came from neighbors or the random radio station.
I don’t recall where she said she was standing in her home, but I could imagine a terrified look on her face. She stood still as a tornado barreled its way down the street. It shook her house yet saved it for the shaky lady who would never mess around in the rain ever again. She never relied on the solid foundation of her house again. The only option for the rest of her life was to hunker down.
Unfortunately, she never relied on the truth of Scripture either, and that’s mostly due to the fact that it was never given to her in a sermon. Unless it was used in mass, Grandma didn’t apply it to life. She loved the Lord, but it was through the rules of her Catholic church and the family priest.
I have found myself in storms, hiding in the basement or even up against a solid wall. I have needed to get to high ground or under protection from the outside forces. There has even been a time that my family had to escape from a possible missile threat. Physical shelter was a must, but spiritually, I trusted in the Lord’s promises.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Fear sometimes lurks around corners instead of blasting itself through a warning system of sirens and alerts. My grandmother knew this fear and as it consumed her, she let it run her life from mid-spring through the first signs of autumn. No amount of trying to talk her out if it did my young heart any good. She gave me grief as I tried to climb to the window to convince her to look out at a rainbow and grab on to the Lord’s beautiful promise.
I was far from mature in my faith as a small child, but I didn’t live with a fearful heart. That was something that tried to creep in many times later on. I wanted to pull that old lady out of the darkness called her basement and shine a light on the world that she was missing, even if the clouds dampened our day.
A great many lessons were learned from this experience. Tornadoes are fascinating, for one thing. Hiding from them is a must, but watching them is intriguing. I have also learned that a fight or flight stance shouldn’t always be the gut reaction otherwise we could be thrown into chaos. A missile threat could have led to pandemonium but instead led to prayer and eventually peace as we gave it to the Lord.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Looking back on my sweet grandmother I wish that I could have had time with her as a mature Christian. We could have grown together in faith and understanding as I pulled her out of the darkened basement. Our laughter and play could have continued through rainy days in the light of an open window instead of frantic pacing in the dampness of cemented walls.
It’s important for me to encourage my children to never hide away and to shine their light even in times of storms and warnings. Fear is a natural response, but so is hope in the Lord. His mighty wing will protect us from all wind and chaos. Rely on His faithfulness.Fear is a natural response, but so is hope in the Lord. His mighty wing will protect us from all wind and chaos. Click To Tweet
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