rotating wall cloud by lightning

Thunderstorms!  Ya either love ‘em or ya hate ‘em.  I’m in the former category.

The house I grew up in had a patio on the back which looked out over a long and gentle green valley to the west.  It was a perfect place for watching the approach of thunderstorms.

Picture intense summer heat and my brother and two sisters and I in cute little sunsuits.  (A one piece cotton outfit with straps over the shoulders and then gathered with elastic at the top of our little thighs.)  It’s getting darker and darker on the western horizon.  The darkness is coming ever closer.  We hear rumbling thunder. The wind is picking up and the temperature is dropping by degrees.  We wait with anticipation for those first few splats of rain.  “Here it comes!”  (Squeal!)  “That’s COLD!”  Pelt pelt pelt pelt.  The rain changes quickly from a few fat drops to a downpour.  Eeeeeeeee!  We squeal some more and dash inside.  Our mom dries us off and we watch the rain from inside our dry house.  Surprisingly quickly, the shower is over.  The rain stops and the sun comes out.  We quickly change into our swimsuits and then we go back out to the patio and we jump in every puddle we see.

Why is it, do you think, that children don’t mind getting wet?  When did we go from jumping in puddles and running through sprinklers and staying in the pool ‘til our skin wrinkled and our lips turned blue to only getting wet when we’re standing under the shower?  What happens to us as we grow older that we get so squeamish about getting wet?

I find thunderstorms incredibly majestic.  There is so much power in thunder and lightning and torrential downpours!  And it’s one thing humankind doesn’t seem to have yet mastered or controlled.  But undoubtedly the childhood memory I shared above is what helped shape my love of thunderstorms.  My mother helped us enjoy the excitement of these quick summer storms.  Thunderstorms were a grand adventure!  No doubt had she been afraid of them, we would have caught the fear like a contagious virus.

I don’t like a lot of the hymns I grew up with.  Many hymns are too dirge-like for me.  However one that always filled my soul with rapturous joy was How Great Thou Art. 

Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder

consider all the worlds thy hands have made.

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,

Thy power throughout the universe displayed.


Then sings my soul, my savior God to Thee. 

How great Thou art.  How great Thou art.

Then sings my soul, my savior God to Thee. 

How great Thou art.  How great Thou art.

Now that’s a hymn!  It’s full of glory and praise as any self-respecting hymn should be.  It doesn’t glorify death or blood or crowns of thorn.  It doesn’t talk about sin or hell or salvation.  It simply glorifies God.  And it celebrates all the glory and beauty and power of Nature, which is, of course, God’s handiwork.

I am so grateful for thunderstorms.  They give us rain, which we and our dear Earth need, and they are full of magnificence and wonder.

Thank you for the blessing of thunderstorms.

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