I tried to tell myself it was an ordinary storm. A typical Texas dust up that would be over soon. Then the sky turned yellow and the tv blared warning warning warning and I knew.
I was alone in a small rented apartment in Texas. And I was scared. Right across from the door to my home was a floor to ceiling window overlooking the street and also the monstrous storm heading my way. I was on the second floor. No basement. No cover. No shelter.
So I stood. And watched as my world changed.
The sizzle and pop of eletrical lines being taken down by the twister began first. Lighting struck cloud to cloud, the heaviness and urgency of Mother Nature pushing the clouds closer to where I stood, framed by only wood. The dark finger of the tornado touched the horizon just as the first raindrops hit the glass in front of me.
Hell broke loose. Rain pounded the building, lighting and thunder coming in waves directly over my head.
I looked up, watching as the rain began swirling in a gentle arc, the leaves on the trees pulling off and up one by one. A sound like a far off train hit my ears just about when I watched the pool furniture begin to lift slowly up, like ghosts dancing in the air.
And then nothing.
It lifted as if it had never been, the clouds skidding away. The thunder echoing farther and farther.
But everything around me was altered. The landscape had changed, touched by something huge and monstrous and bigger than I could have ever anticipated.
Everything my eyes touched was bitten, broken, missing.
Damaged and wounded and in need of repair.
And although this had happend to my world, I was helpless to keep it at bay.
Storms are like that. Great works of nature that can sow great harvests or ruin entirely the landscape they touch.
And we don't know which until it has passed.
I've been reminded over and over of those moments I went through that day in the past week. The terror mixed with awe. The wonder at the storm and the remains of what it left behind. The hard work of putting things to right after, and how they still were never quite as they were before.
And the lingering fear of another one.
I feel like I've lived that monster over the past few months. The devastation and the fear and the ripping up of what I thought was safe and whole and real. The pulling of the foundation under my feet.
I have been helpless to change the outcome. I have had to sit and watch, and have faith that it would work out as it was supposed to.
And I still don't know if it has.
Faith is supposed to be believing everything is as it should be. But sometimes our faith gets pulled up by the storm. It gets worn by the wind and the rain and looks much different after than before. Unrecognizable.
I need a faith I can hold and cling to in the eye of the monster. One that holds true in the wind and rain and silence and destruction.
I can't say that is true anymore. I have found the altered landscape created a distance to my faith I've never walked before. An ebb. A questioning of what this all was for and why God would allow this monster to unsettle and destroy things I've held dear and loved.
If you're looking for a happy wrap up, it's not here. I'm still there, in the moments you walk out into the life you've knowns forever, and do not recognize it. When you have to feel your way and stumble past things that were not there in your path before. When the landmarks you've used all your life have been pulled down.
I'm there. Without a map. With a distant God who has a plan I don't understand and maybe don't believe in anymore.
I'm there in the ruins and hoping my own two feet will carry me through.