Caught in the Storm

Picture this: You and your family are heading West to North Dakota, somewhere West of Fargo, when out of nowhere, a raindrop hits the windshield. A simple, quite common occurance, just not today. You gaze across the horizon and as massive raindrops pound the windshield see what looks like a thunderhead spawning a funnel cloud. Just as you calm your rightfully scared sister down while battling your own fears, every cell phone and smart watch blairs the same warning. Even the car projects the warning on its screen. “WARNING,” it blasts, seeming to cause physical harm, even more so than the storm. “THIS AREA IS IN TORNADO WARNING UNTIL 5 PM.” It has come to the point where you can place your hand on the roof and feel the shape of the hail now pelting your poor car in every direction. You try and take shelter, resting under a bypass with several other cars, nestled together like sardines. While you whisper a silent prayer, you hear your family do the same. Gallons of water crash over your sheltered head like tidal waves, their undertow rolling off your windshield. The tornado’s here. It’s been here since the warning was posted, miles away. But you hold onto the two things you have left: Family and faith. Faith that God is here, that he has never failed and isn’t going to start now. Faith that the storm will pass. Time past slowly in those few minutes, as if every time a grass plant blew by, every time the car shook, every McDonalds cup that hit the side of the car was pixelated when, out of nowhere, the hail ceases and the rain significantly lightens. Over your head, this ring, this halo in the clouds through which the sun is shining through passes over, like the eye of a hurricane. The minutes my family spent in the storm are some of the most terrifying, yet holy we’ve ever witnessed. Amen.