when there are no words…
March 11, 2011
photo credit: BBC
The storm rolled in late Wednesday night. I could see the wind blowing the trees through the skylight while laying in my bed.
“Storm is really kicking up, huh? There’s a tornado watch too.” Jorge said as he walked in the door.
I could feel my heart beat start to elevate, my eyes darting back and forth, window to window.
“Can we go downstairs? Let’s take the kids downstairs.” I said. His eyes made a gentle turn.
“No, it’s okay. Come, come lay with me.” he replied with a knowing.
I can’t really help it exactly. I know logically we are safe but something takes over when the weather turns to show her glory and power. I know her power. I was 15 and living in south Florida when Hurricane Andrew rolled in. We moved from room to room as the water flooded in, the roof tiles going one by one, the wind like a freight train. My sister nervously chatting, my dad cracking the occasional joke, my mom reassuring… as storm raged on. And I was quiet, very quiet. Because I was too afraid to speak, because there were no words.
In the awe of something so much bigger, your mortality exposes the feelings, and eventually much the like the power of the storm, they can not be contained. When you walk out alive and together, and hear the voices of others survived, you weep. When you see the pictures that were stacked neatly on a table blown against the wall as if they were always meant to be there, you know nothing else matters. When debris is as far as the eye can see, you kneel down and start the enormous work without a thought of despair because this will in some strange way get you through and connect you to all those around you.
I do not know what all of that experience looks like magnified, or in the face of an earthquake, but I pray grace and kindness meets every man, woman, boy and girl, every tiny baby on the road ahead for the people of Japan.
And 19 years from now, when the storm kicks up or the earth shakes, you will know, really know what it means to be alive and loved.