Monday, April 16, 2012

In His Hands

I didn't really believe the tornado would come near us.  They never had yet.  Throughout the day, as I saw people talking about it on Facebook and my mother mentioning it, I just passed it off as another tornado that wouldn't affect me or anyone I knew.  They never had yet. Evening came and we all watched a movie, mom saying we had to watch something not too long because of the storm coming.  I thought she was being paranoid.  It was my firm opinion that she had reached the peak of paranoidness (if that is even a word, which I doubt) when she insisted my little sister and I sleep in the basement.  The floor was hard and uncomfortable, and I didn't have a sleeping bag.  I thought the whole thing was absurd.  I didn't start to realize the gravity of the situation until my Dad (who was at work) called to tell us to stay in the basement and get undercover because it was a big one.  Even then though, I didn't quite get it.  While my mom and brothers fixed up our under-the-stairs-closet I watched the news on TV.  As it roared through Wichita, I realized that even if the tornado didn't hit my family and I, it could very well hit someone else I knew.  My worry grew as the weatherman begin listing off times it was going to hit various places- Andover, Benton, Augusta, Towanda... El Dorado.  I stood staring at the TV as the news flashed by, following the tornado as best I could.  My mom called for us to get in the closet and with my siblings I huddled in the small space.  Then my dad called again.  He said he had been looking at its path and there was no way it was going to miss us.  I was scared... we were scared.  We had the light on in the closet and the door closed.  Even downstairs and with that door closed, we could hear the wind ripping through the trees outside.  Then the electricity went out.  Without lights, without our precious technology, I suddenly felt very vulnerable.  We started singing hymns, it was incredible to me that I remembered their words.  Even as we heard the blowing stronger than ever and wondered desperately what was going on outside we kept singing.  It seemed like an hour, but it was really only about twenty minutes when my dad called my mom's cellphone.  The tornado had turned, we were going to be okay.  We poured out of the closet, letting relief pour out as well.  A few minutes later friends of ours called us to make sure we were okay.  It was wonderful to know someone cared that much about us, and wonderful to say yes.  My brother made a call to friends of ours in Wichita to make sure that they were okay.  Through them he found out that others in that area were okay.  There were others that weren't though, and even though we didn't know them, I prayed for them because I knew that I could easily have been in the same situation.  It wasn't until late when we got asleep.  The electricity was back on and we were all back in our own beds.  It was then I just wanted to bow my head, cry, and pray.  As I had sat in that closet, not knowing if I was going to live or die, not knowing if the tornado was going to carry the house and rip up the yard,  realized then that I was in God's hands and that though we humans may try to find protection in all of our technology we can't.  When it comes down to it, we are in His hands.
Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

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