Things that go bump in the night


Waking up this morning I wasn’t sure what I would discover in our neighborhood. Within moments of my returning home from visiting a friend last night, about 10:00 p.m., a strange wind came up, the back door was pulled shut out of my hands, a large flash and then calm. The transformer down the street, or some such piece of equipment behind a chained fence, was damaged and electric company personnel spent long hours repairing it. Our house wasn’t affected, but across the street the neighborhood was dark.

Things that go bump in the night, that we can’t see coming, sneaking in without warning, unnerve us. How can we check the skies for bad weather when the sky is so dark you can’t see it? I had watched the weather all evening, and tracked the front as it moved across Oklahoma and into Arkansas. Tornado watch, thunderstorms…but the unpredictability of tornados and straight line winds always seem to catch us off guard.

Stepping out the door at my friend’s house to check the weather, I could feel the shift. There was an unidentifiable knowing that things were changing and it was time to get home. Growing up in Arkansas has planted secret knowledge, that surfaces in action instead of explanation. Knowing “it was coming”, whatever “it” was, and heading home, arriving just before “it” blew through.

Secret knowledge–it seems to be working overtime of late. Coming out in things as basic as how to plant potatoes, change in atmosphere warning to take cover from weather, and the deeper one of knowing when relationships are shifting and changing. Somehow knowing when it is time to move on, understanding finally breaking through the surface created by a desire for it to be real, by the dream that takes you down a familiar slippery road.

What is it about familiar slippery roads that become visible only after we are already traveling them and have committed to the trek? And let’s be really honest here–that invisibility is not so much something unseen as avoided–avoided because the dream of something makes it real and plants itself in your heart.

Looking out my door at the rain and grey skies, brings me back to reality. Into each life a little rain must fall, but the promise of tomorrow is held in a rainbow of hope. There is again a secret knowing that God has plans for this rain, for the seeds that have been planted. That the thunderstorms and raging wind bring us closer to the road we are destined to travel, even though we keep making wrong turns. His quiet whispers are the roadsigns we need to get to our destination. His whispers can only be heard when we are still and listen. Like today, in the rain.



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