E-Letter 189

Posted by on Jul 2, 2015 in Devotions | 0 comments

Our worksite supervisor, Art, arrived before dawn to tell us that a duratio was headed our way in the holler in West Virginia. “What’s a duratio,” I asked, “and why should I be concerned?” Art gave me one of those I-can’t-believe-you’re-asking-me-that-question look and then talked about flash floods, 200 mph winds, downed trees and power lines, and impassable roads, all of which would isolate the Colcord community from the rest of the world for who-knows-how-many weeks.  It was already too late to evacuate, he said, and after discussing our options, we made the decision to work as much as possible on the project assigned our group for that day, knowing that this particular couple had waited over two years for a mission group to tackle their project.

I put in an emergency prayer request to the church, roused the sleeping teenagers, and we quickly drove to the worksite where we spent the day in the burning heat of the sun staining a rehabbed deck that would allow the mobility-challenged couple to use the back door of their well-kept and aging mobile home. Every few minutes one of us would sneak a glance over our shoulders searching the summer sky for evidence of a brewing storm.  At noon we received news from Gary, our other worksite supervisor, that the duratio was headed north and that we could expect the onset of sudden and severe storms. “Look at the leaves on the trees,” he said, “and if they’re turned up, run, don’t walk, for the nearest cover.”  We double-timed our work pace to make good on our commitment to this elderly couple and finished our project just as the sun started dipping below the line of mountains surrounding us.

Later that evening, wearied by the heat, the work, and a day of weather drama, I sat with my feet up on the back porch of our home-away-from-home – alone! – sipping a cup of tea and watching the leaves of a beautiful oak tree slowly turning upward forming little cups to catch the bounty from heaven. The last rays of the dying sun ricocheted from treetop to treetop creating a beautiful, silent hymn of thanksgiving to the Creator God. And when the last note gave way to a waiting night sky, I heard it! A heavenly encore! The rain, washing over the mountain, gathering sound and fury like the continuous roll of timpani! Overwhelmed by this holy symphony, the fireflies illuminating the night sky shuttered their shimmery lights, and the bullfrogs offering their throaty carols silenced their voices. Together we listened to the psalmist,

I lift up my eyes to the hills – 

from where will my help come?

My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;

he who keeps you will not slumber.

He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;

the Lord is your shade at your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

They Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.

The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in

from this time on and forevermore.  (Ps. 121)