Saturday, March 03, 2012

Clouds of power, clouds of beauty

In Nashville for work yesterday, the city was under tornado warnings. The guy who handed me car keys at the rental booth said, "Might want to hunker down in the afternoon." Yes, he said "hunker down." It's Nashville. A Starbucks and a CVS I stopped at both had signs up stating, "Closing early due to impending weather." Apparently the storm was something to be concerned about. And of course the church I was at was smack dab in the middle of it all.

In the afternoon the sky shifted hue in the blink of an eye. Darkness came in an instant. I stepped outside when it first started up and took this video of the hail coming down:

The conference was put on hold. People were in the hallways, standing away from the windows. Locals were calling to make sure kids were picked up and in a safe place.

And then after a bit the coordinator got on the PA and said, "The warning has been lifted." That was it. Things went back to their regularly schedule program. No tornadoes. No chaos. No damage. At least not where we were. In parts of southern Indiana, Kentucky, and Alabama the destruction was severe and in some cases fatal.

I came out to my car about an hour later and looked up to see this:
My phone wasn't the only one out snapping a pic. And little was being said by those standing in the parking lot. We all just stood and stared for a bit.

Same sky as earlier.
Same clouds. 

So many questions come to mind. Like why were some in the path of destruction? But then there's also questions I'd rather not think about but still must be considered. Like why was I in the path of safety? Why wasn't it worse? But my ability to come up with adequate answers is about equal with my ability to size out the hail stones or paint the clouds with those colors.

Clouds of power, clouds of beauty.
Caused people to hide and cower.
Caused people to come and awe.
Couldn't be avoided. Couldn't be ignored. 

And their reality is an echo of their wielder. 

How small and incapable of a God would He be if these things weren't true? 

“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war? What is the way to the place where the light is distributed, or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth? “Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain and a way for the thunderbolt, to bring rain on a land where no man is, on the desert in which there is no man, to satisfy the waste and desolate land, and to make the ground sprout with grass? “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that a flood of waters may cover you? Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are’? Who has put wisdom in the inward parts or given understanding to the mind? Who can number the clouds by wisdom? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens, when the dust runs into a mass and the clods stick fast together?" Job 38: 22-27, 34-38

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. Romans 1:19-20

God if You’re there I wish You’d show me
And God if You care then I need You to know me
I hope You don’t mind me askin’ the questions
But I figure You’re big enough
I figure You’re big enough
When I imagine the size of the universe
And I wonder what’s out past the edges
Then I discover inside me a space as big
And believe that I’m meant to be
Filled up with more than just questions
- Chris Rice

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