Last night our part of Florida became tornado alley. We awakened to grating beeps of the cell phone weather alert. DH watched tornadoes form on weather radar and head inland. In a Florida house we don’t have basements, or even many interior walls. Glass, and lots of it. No good place to hide from a storm.
For several hours we listened to howling wind and driving rain, like a hurricane. Lightning flashed around us as we watched dark red blobs form and move across the phone screen.
When a particularly large twister came ashore on a popular key, then kept heading east, in our direction, we made plans for safety — clothing and shoes, and into the hallway.
It was very close when it swerved north, sparing us, but it tracked towards our daughter and her family in their newly acquired house.
The radar only shows the tornadoes and a rough location. We had no idea if or when one touched down and destroyed homes and lives as it swirled across our county and into the next.
I prayed for those in the path of the storm.
In the morning, we heard about property damage on the key. A tornado had gone northeast, past our daughter’s house, and had taken several lives.
How quickly life can change.
How little power we have over acts of nature, or sometimes, even acts of other human beings. (Terrorism across the world has enforced that truth.)
We were arming ourselves for battle.
I had no idea how much I would need that armor in the weeks to follow, in the hospital and rehab, and at home dealing with pain and powerlessness.
Clearly, I will need it as long as I am here, on the earth.
Have you noticed, this world’s not really a safe place to live?
Exciting, challenging, and often wonderful and beautiful, but never really safe.
Don’t let down your guard.