Tornado Grace

This weekend I was standing on the back porch, singing and admiring God’s strength in the coming storm. The clouds opened up and the rain gushed down; thunder punctuated a strike of lightning to the south. Then the hail began and the wind picked up. I have never seen hail come in at such a horizontal slant before.

I went in to shut windows and decided I should turn the radio on to see if there were tornadoes in the area. The wind was very strong and lashed from one direction to the other. That’s when the electricity went off.

My brother Simeon pulled up a weather report on his cellphone. Sure enough, our town was under a tornado warning. “Take shelter now,” the voice said. We looked outside at the waves of peach-pit sized hail slamming the ground. A piece of aluminum siding smashed against the window. It was too late to leave the house for shelter.

But the LORD God is gracious. He decided to lift up the storm and take it away—right about the time the tornado sirens sounded.

When all was quiet, we walked around town to survey the damage. What impressed me the most was the evidence of the mercy of God.

Tree limbs littered the town—we even saw two whole trees torn up from the ground. But time after time, the limbs just missed landing on houses and wires. The front of a car looked covered by a felled branch, but closer inspection showed that the fallen branch was forked, and only leaves and smaller branches actually rested on the car itself. It was simply backed away from the tree, no branch removal necessary first. Even the walnut branches that broke off immediately above our shed landed a couple yards east, twisting the outdoor shower frame, but leaving the shed intact.

A couple of porch roofs—not house roofs—were gone. Our neighbor’s across the street had landed mostly in the parking spot empty of the car Mom and Dad had decided to take to Wichita. The piece that had come farther to crash into our window only broke through one layer of glass. The still-raised storm window and the inner layer were unscathed.

The one building that did loose half of its roof was an old one that has only been used for storage for as long as I can remember.

God is gracious!

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