Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Storm Chasers

It rained here the other day.  ALOT.  The tornado sirens here went off twice in two days as the sky turned completely black mid-afternoon.  While Kylie convinced her sisters to cower in basement in fear of the giant tornado swirling toward them that would probably suck them up just like it did Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz", I stood on the front porch unimpressed at the lack of thunder and lightening and pretty much any storminess at all.  Hard rain does not count as a great thunderstorm.
I LOVE to watch thunderstorms.
After Caleb came home and listened to me crab about the lack of cool storms at our house, he made a crazy, spontaneous decision.  We got in the van with our girls (Ethan was with Mimi and Poppy) and drove towards the hail, tornado warnings, high winds, and flooded roads.  Just for fun.  =) 
We saw ditches full of rain water with hail piled in little drifts at the edges.  Waves blew across freshly planted fields turned lakes.  Water roared under bridges usually spanning placid streams.
I wish I could figure out how to upload video from my phone onto this computer.  Then I could show you what it looked like.  I guess you'll have to use your imaginations...
We stopped at Tam and Alan's long enough to let their soaked dog into the garage and learn about the tornado warning in York headed straight toward us.  (By the way, I don't know that there ever were any actual tornadoes.  Just lots of warnings.)
Then we drove home.  On the way we stopped at Oma's (Caleb's grandma's) house.  She lives right across the street from the church where Caleb's grandpa's (Opa's) funeral happened over a year ago.  That day seems to have made a huge impression on my girls - Kylie at least.  She saw the church and said, "Mommy, is that the church where we went to Opa's...what was it?"
"Funeral," I said.
"Yes, Opa's funeral.  That's where I saw Opa in his treasure box."
She thought for a second and then continued, "And when I'm really old like Opa, I'll get to be in my treasure box too."  She smiled and moved on.  She has such a short attention span.  =)
But I was stuck on the treasure box thing.  My sister Becca has a treasure box in her room, full of the best things in the world, Kylie is sure.  When my kids go to my mom and dad's, the first thing they want to do is go to Becca's room to see the things in the treasure box.  What are we going to do without you this summer, Becca?
Who but a child would link the excitement of Becca's treasure box to Opa's body in his own treasure box?  Who would think in those terms? 
An innocent child.  Trusting when she can't see and doesn't understand.  Simply trusting that God who loves her and always takes care of her and is always with her knows what He's doing even in death.  Life is so uncomplicated from Kylie's perspective.  I clutter it up with "Why?"s and "What if?"s and ragings against God for doing things His unfathomable way instead of something I can understand.  And she sees "Jesus loves me, this I know" and rests.  Comfortable with His treasures in all forms.
I make excuses for myself.  "She doesn't understand the finality of death.  The sorrow of living without someone who's shared your life.  The lonliness.  The longing."  And I'm right.  She doesn't.  But Jesus said He treasures faith like a child.  How do we cling to simple trust in the midst of the ache of loss? 

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