Then we heard it.
Plink. Plunk. Plonk.
There was nothing we could do but sit and wait as the hailstones dropped down all around us.
Dad had said that we should miss the brunt of the storm, and we knew of no tornadoes in our area. So there was nothing for us to do but wait, watching the torrents of rain come down and laughing about our shoes that were soaked from walking through muddy water. There was a freedom in knowing that we would come out fine - even if our car ended up with a little hail damage.
Every day people all over the world face problems and difficulties - the storms of life. Some are quick, summer thunderstorms, leaving as quickly as they come and bringing a cool breeze to a hot day. Some are tornadoes, wreaking havoc and destruction on everything around us. Some are hailstorms - not earth-shattering or life-changing, but you don't want to be outside when they come.
In the 1800s, a man penned the hymn, "A Shelter in Time of Storm":
"The raging storms may round us beat,
A Shelter in the time of storm
We’ll never leave our safe retreat,
A Shelter in the time of storm."
Ira Sankey, music director for D.L Moody, found the hymn and set it to a different tune, commenting, "It was said to be a favorite song of the fisherman on the north coast of England, and they were often heard singing it as they approached their harbors in the time of storm."
For my brother and I, our storm was more of a slight interruption than a catastrophe. We even had fun while we waited, as my brother kept changing the radio stations, trying to hear what all of them were saying. We listened to the list of counties under tornado warnings, finding humor in some of the county names we had never heard before. One station was off the air, and my brother pretended the static on the airwaves was actually artillery fire (it would take a boy to think of that).
Even with the hail dropping all around us (and on the roof above our heads), it was as if we didn't have a care in the world. And we really didn't. We knew we would be able to go home eventually. We knew we would be safe until then. No matter what storm was raining down on us, we could be at peace.
"Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by."
Image courtesy of prozac1 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net