May 10, 2005

A Violent, Rushing Wind

So, yesterday, after I posted my last blog entry, I got into the car to take my son Ethan to his tutoring class. It's about a half hour away, and to get there we drive north, crossing the Yuba River into Marysville, and then turn west, crossing the Feather River into Yuba City. As we're driving, some awfully dark clouds were just ahead, and soon it was raining, then hailing, the little frozen precipitation bouncing and dancing across the car hood and the black asphalt of highway 70.

When the lightning started, I turned on the radio, and the first thing I heard was an emergency announcement about a tornado warning in Yuba City & Marysville. As we were crossing the long bridge over the Yuba River, I looked out my driver's side window and saw it: a funnel cloud that, at first, was long and narrow, but then a few moments later widened into a rather powerful looking storm.

The funnel cloud was moving northeast, towards me, but the traffic on the Yuba River bridge is always backed up in the late afternoon, and we were going nowhere. Ethan started to get rather scared in the backseat, and frankly, I was getting a little nervous myself. But we made it into Marysville, turned left, and crossed over the Feather River. Again, I could see the funnel cloud to my left. But now I was moving away from it, and heading into Yuba City, where the sky was starting to clear.

The funny thing is, earlier in the morning, I was working on my Pentecost sermon, with its imagery of violent wind & fire as symbols of the Holy Spirit. I wrote the story of my friend David, who was struck by lightning once while we were on a boy scout camping trip when we were kids. Now I might have to go back and add yesterday's experience. Was the Spirit in the storm, the fire, the wind? I don't know. But I do know that the Spirit is powerful, and that it is nearby.

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