We have watched for over a week, red line after red line pacing its way through these parts. Oceans of green covering the entire swath of the radar scan, huge blotches of violent color. Storms spawning and spanning from Texas to Iowa. The occasional bit of purple hidden in the heart, tornadoes dropping out of the sky to let fly with those black funnels. Lives and roads and houses and barns ripped apart like they were nothing more than flimsy shells. River banks and creek banks undercut and collapsing. Forests of wheat and corn overcome by flood; some fields stripped bare and others left under feet of mud. Nine inches of rain in exactly a week here on this particular street.
And in the same span of time, babies have been born, successful surgeries performed, loved ones have come back home from other continents. People have driven thousands of miles, birthdays and anniversaries sung and celebrated, graduation parties, homecomings and indoor picnics. Off to work and home again, trips to the grocery for bread and beans, suits to the cleaners and brand new jeans.
Though the particulars vary by some degree, the cycle still holds the same. We are witness to death and baby’s first breath; fire and rain and raging storm and mirrored lake. We give and take, lean into the wind and spend our days walking in the wake of our own choices and our own response to the circumstance of passing life.
Hoping to hear the better voices, we pray and listen for something softer than the wind, something stronger than fate. Something ancient and sure, a pure fire that burns without consuming. Covered with mud and weary of swimming in troubled floods, we seek the Living Water that always sustains but never overwhelms. We seek the peace of God’s own hand, the redemption of surrender.