The Safety of Lightning Strikes

Photo Credit: Vera Ada
Photo Credit: Vera Ada

September 2015

The night sky popped like a light bulb, showering sparks and plunging into darkness. The just-wet grass curled around my toes, my irises expanding and collapsing like breathing lungs as they filled with light. I could see salt spots where tears had gathered and dried.  

It will be all right, he told me, but in my doubt, I questioned him.

Will it?

The sky’s dome crackled with a web of lightning and I saw its light long after it vanished, tingled with fear long after his gentleness enveloped me like the summer’s lingering heat.

I believe you. 

One Year Later

Swaddled in a nest of blankets and pillows, I ask God to tell me a Bible verse to send a friend who is unwell, but he gives me one instead: Jeremiah 32:17

“Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.”

Outside, a lightning storm is happening. Its fingers poke through the cracks in the blinds, reminding me of his promise. Switching off the light, I let the weight of the past weeks sink into the forgiving mattress.

The weight of waiting and watching for the unexpected to come out in the wash. The weight of fighting fear and just being stuck. Of searching for hidden, harmful things–suffocating beneath their heat.

With every brushstroke of his lightning, the weight is eased.

I have entrusted the hidden things to someone I can’t see, but even while I sleep, his heart instructs me.

I am countering an enemy I cannot see, but I have set the Lord before me and will not be shaken.

I am resisting the weakness of my own heart, but, because he is at my right hand, even my flesh will rest secure.

My whole being rejoices, for nothing is too hard for him.

Suddenly I am aware of my safety. Perhaps it is the weight of the blankets cradling me. Perhaps it is the weight of his wing hemming me behind and before.

Perhaps it is the weight of realizing that, after all I have traversed in the last year, I still believe him.


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