Snow and Tornados


Snow and Tornados

    This morning we awakened to a beautiful blanket of newfallen snow shrouding the bleak winter landscape where we have come for a few days.  Although I grew up in the mountains,  I find myself still feeling like a child, excited by the beauty of the snow.  Driving through the darkness, cold and downpouring rain to arrive, the world looked like a very different place from this morning.  The change seems amost miraculous.
About midnight we were awakened by a call from our son, unable to join us, telling us about the tornado which cut a swath of destruction through Morehead City, NC.  Inability to see brought by the darkness of the night and loss of electricity seemed to magnify the condition.
Thinking about these two places, miles apart – and seemingly worlds apart – reminds me of the rapidity in which change can come.
I am reminded of the words of the poet Rudyard Kipling in his classic poem, IF.  “Treat these two imposters just the same.”  The real world is not the world we see, whether shrouded in darkness or beauty.  The real world is the one in which our loving heavenly Father reigns on high with a miriad of angels.  There are no problems in that Kingdom, only plans.
Let us choose to live by faith and trust instead of by sight.  Then our darkness can be transformed to day, and the bleakness of our landscape to a wonderland of beauty.

“Prom? Yes”?!

English: Duluth box car number 18052 on displa...

English: Duluth box car number 18052 on display at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom. Photo by Sean Lamb (User:Slambo), October 10 2004 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Prom? Yes”

That’s what the train said.  It was early this morning.  On my way down Cumberland to have breakfast and prepare for the day ahead, I heard the sound of an oncoming train.  Just before I reached the crossing, lights flashing red, the barricade dropped, blocking my path.  One, two, three, four engines headed up the slowly moving freight train.
This is gonna be a while I thought.  What to do?  I started counting the cars but soon lost count.   I began trying to read the sides as one by one the graffiti embellished cars rolled past.  Were these graphic displays the work of gangs, an attempt to create art, or something else?  Then it caught my eye.  Amidst the graffiti on the side of the boxcar I could clearly make out, “Prom? Yes”.
I understood that.  A question.  From whom?  Was the yes an answer or was it a hoped for response?  I thought, “Why, in this age of seemingly unlimited means of wireless communication was the side of a box car used?”
We are told that the amount of information competing for our attention has doubled in ten years to something like 35 GB of data.  We are not built to process that much and the overload takes a toll on us. If we are going to pay attention then the communicator better do something special!
Golden skies, billowing clouds, autumn leaves, soft new fallen snow, the tiniest peep of a newborn chick, the cry of our own new baby, the anguished cry of His Son dying for all of us.  No one would or could have done more to get our attention.  Are we listening?