Friday

The thunderstorm

We had a terrible, yet spectacular, storm move through here last night. We had just finished dinner and had gone to a park in La Junta to watch our 7-year-old grandson Ethan play flag football in the city league.





Is that determination or what? By the way, he got the flag. Somebody sign that kid into the NFL.

The entire time, his mother Dee and I were standing on the sidelines with one eye on "The Beast", as they call him on his wrestling team, and another eye on the weird-looking cloud that was moving quickly toward us.

"If that cloud were spinning, I think I would be very scared right now," I told Dee.

"It could start spinning," she replied.

Just after she said that, someone who had a radio heard that a tornado had been spotted. Within seconds, Mike came to me and said, "Come on, we're leaving There's golf-ball sized hail in Swink and it's heading this way."

As we headed for the car, the football game was cancelled and everyone hightailed it out of there.

Since the storm was then right over Swink, where we live, instead of going straight home, we went down US 350, which goes southwest to Trinidad. The plan was to go that way and try to come in behind the storm. As we turned on to County Road Z, to the west, we saw a thick, gray boiling cloud in front of us that reached the ground. That was when the Code Red tornado warning sounded over both our cell phones. We stopped to watch, and as the clouds and rain obscured objects in the middle distance, and the horses in the pasture near where we stopped began to panic, Mike turned the van around and we got back on 350. We turned near Timpas on to Colorado 71 heading toward the Sierra Vista Overlook. The overlook is a small mesa on the prairie where the pioneers traveling on the Santa Fe Trail got their first glimpse of the Rocky Mountains.

That's where Mike took this picture. I was in the car on the cell phone trying to reach Dee or my son Andrew, who is away at college. I knew that he would be wondering about us if he heard about the storm. My attempts were futile, though. There was no cell phone service at all.



And these pictures were taken on County Road 24.5 going into Swink. La Junta is in the distance.


Looking at the storm from this angle, it was very dark. It is the glow of lightning flashes and the camera that is making everything appear lighter. Behind us, however, the sunset lit the sky with yellow and pink light. Pike's Peak, which is about 90 miles away as the crow flies, was framed by the setting sun. It looked rather peaceful, compared to what was going on to the east of us.

A tornado actually did touch down. I got this from Facebook. It was taken by Sammi Martinez of La Junta.


When we arrived home there were marble-sized hail pieces all over the lawn. This morning we found leaves from our three cottonwood trees plastered all over the house, the garage, and the toolshed, as well as littering the yard. Parts of La Junta looked like there had been a spring snowstorm, the hail was so thick.

Psalm 29 likens God to a thunderstorm:

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;



the God of glory thunders,



the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.



The voice of the Lord is powerful;



the voice of the Lord is majestic.



The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;



the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.



He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,



Sirion like a young wild ox.



The voice of the Lord strikes



with flashes of lightning.



The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;



the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.



The voice of the Lord twists the oaks
and strips the forests bare.



And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

I kept thinking about this metaphor as we were experiencing the storm. Can you picture God in this light or is this imagery troublesome for you? Why or why not?   Have a great weekend!