At this moment there is a storm raging outside our home. We still have power but the kitchen table is loaded with candles, lighters, flashlights, batteries and battery powered electronics. They are signs of what is almost guaranteed to come, days without power.
Irene is not even directly over us yet but she has certainly sent the rains and winds to clean a path ahead of her.
I managed to make two "hurricane pies" (apple pies requested by RW) but had to turn the ovens back on four times as power flickered out. They are out of the oven and the scent of cinnamon and coziness is filling the house alongside the blaring weather channel updates. A good balance I think.
Like the tropical storm, fear is swirling all around us. For three days - since the earthquake - we have been preparing our home to withstand the possibility of a category 2 hurricane. School was cancelled to allow families to stay together and get themselves ready. Everyone in Target and Walmart was calm and friendlier than usual. Storms are bonding experiences - even before they hit. "Stay safe" replaced "see you later" and neighbors offered extra propane, shelter and advice for those of us who have never experienced a hurricane before. Part of our decision to stay was based on the fact that we know we will not face the aftermath alone.
|St. Christopher painting by Hieronymus Bosch
photo credit : http://www.ucc.ie/milmart/Christopher.html
All this preparation has gotten me thinking of the season of Advent still months away. While the arrival of Christmas is much better than a hurricane, we are still urged to prepare our hearts, homes and souls for the arrival of another force of nature, Jesus Christ.
In a few months our kitchen tables will be full of ribbons, wrappings, cards and cookies. "See you later" will be replaced with "Merry Christmas" and people will generally be friendlier. It's too bad that it takes a major event to bring out such goodness in people, but the reality is - the goodness is always there. It's times like these that help me feel more optimistic about our culture and help me see that the light of Christ shines through all people in times of need and in times of celebration. We need not fear the storms for we are never alone.
Post. Hurricane. Thank you all for your prayers! We feel so blessed that other than a few branches down our neighborhood is safe and power was restored overnight. Please keep praying for those still in Irene's path and for all those who have suffered much more than our family. St. Christopher, pray for us.