21 May 2012


I camped out in a thunderstorm again last night.  For the past several nights I’ve been sleeping without the rainfly so as to watch the twin wonders of fireflies and moonless stars, but just as I was about to nod off I heard the distant sounds of a storm approaching.  Rousing myself, I attached the fly and went back to sleep.
I awoke several hours later to rain pounding on the tent.  And then my world was rent asunder twice.  First by a two-second eternity of lightning, where there’s no point in counting seconds until the thunderclap because the storm’s immediately on top of you so instead you count how long the thunder rolls—one Mississippi, two Mississippi, all the way up to fifteen.  And then by a phone call, letting me know that my friends’ baby’s heart had stopped beating and there would be a funeral later this week.

Like the storm, this news had been expected—the baby had been diagnosed with an extra chromosome and was not expected to survive long, and my friends had decided to enjoy what time they three had together—but the foreknowledge did not make the call any less devastating.  I ache for them.

I can’t pretend to make sense of all this, but I do know where to turn for peace.  Long ago, others facing a storm of their own cried out, “Carest thou not that we perish?”  The Master, speaking sometimes to the tempest outside and sometimes to the one inside, beckons “Peace, be still.”

Years ago, I wrote a poem based off another scriptural storm.  It’s been running through my head, so I guess I’ll put it here:

Although waves of despair,
Like mountains break,
And nearly drown my faith;
To His tender care,
My fears I take,
And trust He'll keep me safe.

And while the great deep
Holds devils still,
Which seek to sink me in sin;
I know God will keep
Me whole until
I return to the heavens again.

And though through the depths
Of darkness I pass,
Where often I feel all alone;
The Spirit has kept
My heart of glass
Shining like light from a stone.

Let life's fierce winds blow
And trial's tempests din,
As long as this vessel shall stand.
For this do I know,
That these very same winds,
Carry me to the promised land.

-Ether 6:8-10


be said...

That's pretty, Russ. Thanks.

Jessica Marie said...

What an excellent poem.