“Oh, Stormy…Oh, Stormy. Bring back that sunny day…” Stormy (1968) Recorded by: Classics IV. Composers: Dennis Yost, James Cobb, Buddy Buie
As I write this, it’s a sunny day in Dallas, Texas with temperature hovering about 102/f degrees. The heat index, or what it feels like with humidity mixed into the works, is 118/f degrees. Great day to mow the lawn. LOL It’s July in Texas, and you can always count on the weather being oppressive. What I wouldn’t give for a bit of rain right now, but not HOT DROPS.
Our springtime was horribly rough. May and June alone were pelting us with several tropical storm-type winds, tornadoes galore, and thunderstorms ushering in hail. We had straight-line winds clocking at 71mph in one of our storms in June. The trees on our property lost several branches, large limbs, as well as, nerves. Around here, when the civil sirens go off, you run for shelter, never walk, during tornado warnings. We’ve had many this year thus far.
Photo: My cousin sits with a partial of a massive 100+ year old Sycamore, which was uprooted from my mom’s front yard, and landed on her roof. She was home at the time, but uninjured during the tornado. The house is about 164 years old. It took the brunt, with only roof and porch damage. Texas storms come as quickly as a fake news story cycle.
Meanwhile, at our house, our oldest dog, Sammie, is like bacon on a hot skillet during storms. I’ve written about this before.
Sammie goes bonkers at the smell of rain, not yet fallen. You can always tell by her attentive look with immediate cravings to cuddle.
The slightest sound of distant rumbling thunder will set her off with the quivers, shakes and shivers, like a 7.1 California earthquake. All the while, nestled safely in my arms for shelter. I’ve been told she runs to me because I’m the biggest one in the room. When it’s peaceful outside, she rarely notices me, unless I have a treat in my hand. Of course, I do what I can to calm her vocally, and sometimes it works, but often not. The storms just seem to override any audible efforts of comfort.
Frankly, I can understand her pretty well. I mean, growing up in Texas, I have seen what tornadoes, flash floods and hurricanes can do. Because of past experience, my heartbeat rises a bit during these storms. On the other hand, I have family and friends who are storm chasers. They absolutely adore the thrill of getting as close to a tornado as possible, without catching up with Dorothy and Toto. In my opinion, they are all mad as hares in a cabbage patch. Yet, I still love them.
Oh, how I wish I could link telepathically, with Sammie’s little brain. I wish she could know I will cover her with my own body if a tornado hit our house. I just don’t speak “dogness” as well as I should. If only my communication skills were on her level, maybe she would understand the kind of protector she has in me. But, Shorty, our other pal, knows what to say.
My communication skills might be lacking during Sammie’s times of trouble, but sometimes lyrics will hit me out of the blue…or the darkness.
Recently, my daughter’s band, Grosh, released their new album. The last song on the project is my favorite. The cut is entitled, “Piece of Mind”. Besides hearing my daughter deliver some terrific vocals once again, the original lyric touched me deeply. It speaks. Here’s a section for you:
“…Whether or not you know, whether or not you don’t. Whether or not you care, whether or not you won’t, you are not alone. Give me a piece of your mind. Because whether or not you know, whether or not you don’t. Whether or not you care, whether or not you won’t, you are not alone.” (2019) Piece of Mind. Recorded by Grosh. Composers: Lougen/English (Her band-mates)
(Sample the cut at: groshband.com. Go to “Store”, click on the title of the song and turn up the volume. (Also available for downloads.) Tell me how it grabs you.)
There have been unexpected storms in my life when I desperately needed to be reminded I am not solo here in this life. Most of he time, I didn’t get a siren of warning before I was flattened by a down-burst. Car crash – no warning. Job loss – no warning. Health crisis – no warning. Death in the family – no warning. Can you identify?
How honest is this? At times, I have felt alone. At times, I felt alone in a crushing crowd of revelers. At times, I looked around for someone to find peace with and found a vacant place. At times, I searched for synthetics to numb my loneliness.
Life is so much like the weather. Lightning WILL clap just when you least expect it, and you WILL leap off the mattress about a meter or so. Sheets of hail, wrapped in a torrent of rain, WILL beat on the roof, and all you can do is wait to analyse the aftermath. You might sit at a table, with a fine wine accompanied by broiled brisket, when suddenly, an EF-4 tornado WILL rip the house apart with its 166+mph winds. (It’ll take about 3 seconds.) In those moments of oppression, in those moments of turmoil, in those moments of trying to grip the rug beneath your feet, like Sammie, it’s normal to feel a bit shaken. A bit at a loss. A bit bewildered. This is the stuff of life, and life’s surprises.
Because I am a Jesus “accepter”, I do what I can to keep from nursing on other means for quick fixes to sooth my nerves, my fears, my “what next”. Many times I fail. In those times I must remember all things I touch, taste, and see, are only temporary at their best. Synthetics are just that…synthetic. Who would depend upon a wedding ring fabricated out of a cigar-band?
Sammie runs to me for comfort, but I don’t mention to her that I can be blown away, just like she can. The comfort from my body is, well…uh…temporary. In the same way, I can run to my wife, a counselor, a friend, a chemical pacifier, but in the end, they are faulty, too. We all fall down physically, emotionally, spiritually. My proven rest relies on the One Who holds me up today, yesterday, and tomorrow. Why?
Where else could I go? He simply is the biggest person in the room. The storm may not be removed each time the radar turns red, yellow, and purple, but I do have the promise He will be with me through what comes my way. He alone called Himself, “The Rock”. In Exodus, when Moses was afraid to be God’s spoke-person to the enslaved Jewish community in Egypt, and Pharaoh, he challenged God.
He inquired, “Who shall I say sent me?” Wouldn’t you ask?
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” (Exodus 3:14 NAS)
Someday I will write on the significance of the title, “I AM”. It’s a great study of the words in Hebrew. For now, my point is, scripture details Him as being all-in-all. Not only that, He goes so far as to invite us to PROVE Himself to be. Wow! That’s brave and bold, regardless of who sends the invitation. Outside of creation, and all things in it, before we began to put names on each other, our animals and plants, He “was” and always will be. A great reliable comfort in times of unsettled traumatic turmoil inside this sphere of existence.
Jesus was sent to our everyday, bluejeans and work-boots level. He came to speak our language for understanding of God’s mind, heart and love. He claimed that He and God were one. Yes, a heavy thing to say. And then He proved it several times. Some 700+ years before Jesus was born, it was foretold He would be referred to as, “Immanuel”. It wouldn’t be a surname, or a first name, but rather a description. It literally means, “God with us”, “With us is God”, or “God housing with us”. (Isaiah 7:14) That’s amazing in itself, but it also means I don’t have to shiver while cowering in the fetal position, stuck in a corner with my chosen toy for distraction.
Learning to lean on the Rock that is higher than I is the beginning of fuel for the race.
“Take My yoke (Guiding, instructive brace. IE: A cast on a broken bone.) upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Come to Me, all those toiling and being burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Jesus – Matthew 11:28-29 (BLB)