The window shade wavers slight back and forth, in-out, as the wind shifts.
The gale, swinging now from south to west, soon northwest-to-be, roars in the distance, moans nearby around the corners of this drafty, creaking farmhouse.
Rain still falls, drippingly, drumming slow intermittent tattoo on the roof, but a sudden plunge from spring-like warmth to arctic bite and sudden snow squall may make road travel “near impossible” with whiteout and icing, and no one knows just when. So says the National Weather Service.
So he’s just left for the prison, early—to ensure on-time arrival. (He preaches there, one turn per month.)
There’s wood in the lidded front-porch box for the library woodstove, waiting… He said (quite out of character) I should turn the thermostats up, for extra warmth to linger, should wind blow down the power. He made sure of kindling in the box as well as logs. And three candles stand at attention, on kitchen tabletop, in the still-gray hour.
Had we not checked the forecast, we might have been blindsided.
Wind shifts can do that.
And such surprise storms are not to be sneezed at. (Though that’s a natural response.) Caught out with a friend in one myself once, I experienced airborne adventure, unintentional off-roading, in a “God-forsaken” woodland. (Though not God-forsaken, really. He rode there with us, even steering the airborne truck… But. We should have acted more wisely! With the temperature plummeting like it was, if we hadn’t found that inhabited dwelling…)
Since then, to my shock I’ve learn that weather-caused death rates run higher in this corner of the country than in places we think are scary!
So we take a few precautions.
[Later] I sit here and listen to the chase of powerful air tides.
I hear garbage cans crashing, and see out a window a panicked black cat’s high-speed zig-zag streaking down a noisy hill. Cracking sounds are coming from the big black-maple just beyond the window, and a lanky arborvitae is dancing a swaying frenzy.
I consider moving my computer and myself to a different side of the house…
And I ponder the wind-shifts and sea-changes of earth-life.
They happen—perhaps to all, surely to most.
There are tides to be “taken at the flood,” and floods to be fled and avoided. Wild and wicked winds can come banging on life’s door like sudden bombs, and knock us off our feet.
(I’ve had a few come blow my life around.)
How does one line up candles for such spells, so light may not be lost? How does one insure warmth for living when normal power fails us?
I look to the word and this I see:
Keep your (candle) lamps burning (Lk 12:35),
keep them fueled (Mt 25:1-4).
Keep stirring up and feeding the coals of God’s fire within you (2 Ti 1:5-7).
Be ready at any moment for the enemy’s rush-in flood (Is 59:19),
holding the hand of God’s love always (Jud 1:20-21),
like the child in the crowd of potential dangers (Mt 10:16;28:19-20)
— alert in prayer (Eph 6:18),
and always listening for His warnings and instructions,
abiding in them, and thus in Him (Jhn 15:10).
(Rich blessing whether the onslaught ever comes or not.)