a meditation for the inner room

One of the things I dreaded most about moving back to North Texas four years ago was tornado season. Since my childhood I have held a healthy respect (okay, paralyzing phobia) of high winds and swirling clouds - in 1979 a mile-wide tornado tore through my hometown. I still remember the howling, clattering roar of it. Since then, if the sirens are sounding you'll find me in the closet under the stairs.

Of course, Houston boasted its own scary brand of weather: the hurricane. Last night as I was sitting in my Dallas home (in the closet under the stairs, listening to the sirens) I remembered this poem that I had written a few years back during a Houston hurricane season. On re-reading it I found it to be a good reminder for the fearful and the doubtful, of whom I have certainly been both.

We are literally thunderstruck by the display of God's power in the elements. But are we adequately amazed at the deeper truth they point to? Sometimes I need my eyes reopened to the greatest display of God's power I have ever witnessed. So here's what I'll meditate on as I "enter into my closet" each spring.

reflections on a hurricane

A churning vortex, reeling unconfined -
In wind and water, terror finds its form.
“Behold,” Derision croons into my mind,
“Believest thou His finger stirs the storm?”

“Is it His voice that thunders in the gale,
That roars above the rising of each swell?
Is it His breath that spews the rain and hail?
Speak, little fool, and own thy folly well. “

Believest thou His finger stirs the storm?
A vastly deeper foolishness I own:
Not only doth He sky and sea transform,
More wondrous still, He stirs the heart of stone.

Job 26: 14
And these are but the outer fringe of his works;
       how faint the whisper we hear of him!
       Who then can understand the thunder of his power?"