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August 3, 2020

“Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.” 1 Kings 9:11b-12

Today, Day 141, begins with Tropical Storm Isaias gaining strength and barreling toward my old home along the Carolina coast. While it may regain its status as a hurricane, it does not appear to be a monster of a storm. Hopefully not much damage will be done. Even so, I will be praying for the people in Isaias’s path, particularly the people of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, my home for seven years. I remember days like this, days of making sure we had plenty of food and batteries and gas in the car. Days of worry and faith mixed together.

It’s natural to wonder where God is in these moments. There’s always someone willing to declare that such storms reflect God’s judgment upon the people (always, of course, in retribution for that which the speaker finds sinful). I am not nearly so willing to claim to understand the mysteries of God. I do know, however, that when God appeared to a frightened, exhausted Elijah, God wasn’t in the mighty wind. God was in the silence.

For my friends along the coast, may you feel God’s presence in the silence, even as the winds and rains arrive. Stay safe. For the rest of us, may we hear God’s still small voice in the midst of whatever storms come our way.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of creation, we thank you for the wind and the rain, reminders of your Spirit and our baptism. We pray for those who are in the path of dangerous storms, that the wind and the rain would not overwhelm them. Keep your people safe, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: A RAMMB/NOAA satellite image of Tropical Storm Isaias, August 2.

From → COVID-19

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