21 May 2013

When the storms come, keep writing

Like you all, I can’t stop thinking about Oklahoma today. You can join some of the prayers being shared from there over here. It made me think about this post I wrote in the dark when Hurricane Sandy headed our way. I’m reading it again today.

Thinking of Oklahoma and storms

So I sit in the dark as Sandy rages outside and our family sleeps in one room tonight. I sit in the old white rocker listening to Zoe breathe and the winds howl and I know why we need your words. Even in a storm.

Especially in a storm.

Because if no one wrote it down how would we know about small boats and fishermen who lose control and their nets and their minds with fear even when they sail with Saviors.  How would we know about Saviors who teach us how to sleep on unafraid in this dark, cold house?

How would we know about faith small as a mustard seed or the size of an acorn a rattling around our deck porch.

How would we know about Kingdoms that come quietly with Truth that walks beside us in dirty feet and sandals.

How would we know about lions and dark caves and men who just kept right on praying. How would we know about small girls who stood up when he called them by name. How would we know about fellowship and courage and the acts of believing in the face of the Impossible.

How would we know that when the clouds bear down and the rains crack heaven right open and the waters wash into the metro systems that morning still comes? How will we know if the people who’ve lived it don’t leave a testimony.

Tonight Jackson tells me we need to build an altar.

I’m stacking 24 packs of bottled water and my first born turns away from the storm tracker to tell me it is time for an altar.

I’m not sure what to say. My head is racing with the meat I want to cook, the laundry I still need to dry, the phone calls I should make. I look at him, those glasses so solemnly staring. And I agree. Yes an altar of remembrance for the God who can do great things seems a good idea.

They eat their tacos and I turn to the story of a flood that could shame even this one. We read it again. The man, the family, the calling to build a boat bigger than their history would have even been able to make sense of. The days of darkness and fear and frustration. Why hadn’t I paid that part attention before.

The squabbling kids and tired, confined animals. The much longer than 40 days of waiting. We read this story not just because someone lived it. But because someone faithfully wrote it down.

They’re getting restless and there are still lists to be made and I turn the last page and there it is. God’s own writing in the heavens. Plastered from side to side the oath that He won’t let it happen again. The ultimate flood.

Trials may buffet and waters may rise. Roads may wash away and trees ache low over this house of ours. But I believe because someone else wrote it down and left a road map. I believe because of the altars left by the storytellers who came before me and these two boys who won’t sleep in their bunks tonight.

So I type my testimony in the dark while the house sleeps and my glasses are reflected in this small phone’s screen. I type and I tell because how can I not?

They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…

From a small, white rental house in Northern Virginia where we are so grateful to have baked all the cookie dough, this is my testimony.

And so I write it down.

As good men and women have always done before me.

To help:

Visit Red Cross or text REDCROSS to 90999 to contribute $10.

Visit the Salvation Army or text STORM to 80888 to contribute $10.

Visit Samaritan’s Purse.

Visit Feed the Children (headquarters in OKC).

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Comments

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  1. 1

    Oh yes… an altar – a remembering of all that He has done, and will do. And straight from the mouths of babes into our waiting hearts. Tears here for all those in Oklahoma and every where facing the winds of storms today.

  2. 2

    I’m with you here in NY, Lisa Jo …

    For all you moms/teachers/grandmas, here’s a bit of encouragement as you talk with your kids about what they’re seeing and hearing … click on the link at the bottom of the post. I hope it helps a bit in those hard conversations that might come up –
    http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2013/05/grieving-with-oklahoma.html

  3. 3

    Thank you your prayers for OK. It has been such an emotional couple of days.

  4. 4

    You are precious Lisa-Jo. And though we’ve never met, I feel like we’re friends because you have poured so much of yourself out and my heart has listened to the screen tell your story….Thank you! Your blogging, never even met in real life before friend, Erica

  5. 5

    “Precious,” like Erica wrote!

    A great post, encouraging not to give up when life turns bad, inspiring, full of heart!
    Thank you for writing, sharing, praying!

    We had a havey storm in our area of Chicago last night. Today everysthing but some small branhes is in its place. I cannot even imagine what happened in Oklahoma. I can only pray.

    Blessings and Light Lisa-Jo!

  6. 6

    Oh, what a great thing! An alter remembering (even in our travesties) the great things the Lord has done! Yes, may we each build an alter in our hearts! Looking not at the darkness. But reminded, continually, that our God is a God who is with us, inevitably….regardless of what we are going through!

  7. 7

    Thank you for those words today. I needed to hear that. Truly a blessing.

  8. 8
    Jo-Anne says:

    Your words always lighten my load and remind me I’m not alone in my thoughts. We are all on the same page today, even on a rainy day here in Sydney, Australia. Bless you Lisa-Jo

  9. 9

    I know this is from last month, but I just stumbled across it in my feed. Thank you for writing these words, for reminding us of a great and powerful and loving and faithful God.

  10. 10

    This is so beautifully written. I was blessed on so many levels. It made me appreciate what the writers of Scripture were going through as they were writing. Our default is to stop and be in the middle of the storm, not to stop and write about it so that we can leave a legacy. I also think it is so important to do this, no just for those who will read it when we are gone, but so that once the storm has passed for us, we can look back and see all that He did for us. Thank you for sharing this!

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