Monday, July 10, 2006

A Shelter From the Storm

"For Thou hast been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat....” ~ Isaiah 25:4a (RSV)

This week I’d like to share something Keen’s sister wrote during a thunderstorm that took place the day before my surgery. ~ Eileen

Winds Swirl

By Kihm Umbehr Blount
June 20, 2006

Winds swirl.
Trees bend.
Flowerpots sway
Then are thrown back and forth.
Dark clouds mingle with blue sky.
Then dark overtakes the light.

The sound of the wind is more forceful now.
Is it the leaves or the sound of wind itself?
The trees and leaves look like the waves –
The ocean of the sea in a storm –
green rolling thunderous grass.

One knows not when it will lessen or crescendo.
We who are stationary are at the wind’s mercy.
Until we sway with a blast and are forced backwards
Bending our head into the winds in order to walk forward.

Deep rolling sound in the distance…
Threatening future awaits.
Light enough to write by
Dark enough for a brief shadow.
Will it continue?
Will it stop?
Will it lessen?
Will it crescendo?

Nothing physical yet broken,
No large item yet moved.

It is written – “Jesus slept.”
Slumber of the deepest kind.
My watchful eye raises every moment –
Anticipating the next forceful upsurge.
I am unaware of where the end will be.

At least the wind is cool
Could even say refreshing.
Yesterday the sun beat down,
Searing flesh when touched to the physical.
This…now… is a welcome reprieve.
A lull now…
What seemed so strong a little before
Now appears managed to me.
THIS wind is familiar
In the short time since it began.
Does my own fear lessen in this midst?
Unthinkable that I could slumber as He!

Fine mist now – the smell of rain
Do I wish for a downpour –
To joy in the sun’s rays at its end?
Doesn’t the wind always get strong
Before the rain comes?

All is touched and swirled by the wind.
Long standing trees sway.
Small grass slivers slide to and fro.
Dust is thrown in the direction of the wind.
A light wood door slams down
After being lifted by the wind.
Am I too light?
Will I be slammed down?

It’s not quiet yet,
But a little lessening.
Calmness returns.
Slight breeze.
Silence almost deafening now.

Long, long roll of thunder-
Closer now.
Is the worst approaching?
One last plunge
Before the deluge?
My questions push me
To the edge of the unknown.
Can I relinquish my fear to the One who made the wind?

“My help comes from the Lord.
Whom shall I fear?”
He’s the Maker of heaven and earth.
That is the wind!
Whom shall I be afraid?

Sunlight on the clouds
Brightening the horizon.
A visual reminder that
Maybe the end is near.

I see this with my eyes
And hear the thunder in the distance.
Do my senses point the way
Or lead me to fear?
I could trust them,
I thought.
Now, I believe they must
Be tamed and guided.

Flash of light.
Quicker than a second.
Are my eyes just more attuned
To watch for them?
Are my senses heightened?

Now – a triple play.
All three combined.
Wind, sound and light.
The sound of sure doom.

I walk to the edge
Of the physical ground.
I venture out slowly.
I had been motionless
Not gripping in fear
But surefooted
In the doorway.

I hear now the air conditioner.
Familiar and predictable.
Reminder of what
I know for certain.
Was it there
In the force of the wind?
I missed it, and was not
In tune with the known.

Other life moves across
The green ocean.
Eating as they go along.

We are returning
To the familiar.
If they go forward
With their life,
Can I use that
As an example
To go forward also?

Just one more question for me.
Movement is paramount.
Standing frozen
Stops all life,
And action.

I will move inside now.
Away from the breeze
That now blows.
I hear a bird sing
And bugs chatter
In the grass.
The worst has passed if
The creations of God

Inside the dwelling-
This physical example,
A correlation
To the spiritual emotions
I have just been through.
I am held
In the Palm of His Hand.
I am hid in the Shelter of His wing.
I believe this to be real
And can tell myself
To Trust.

The sound of the roll
May be loud outside,
But in here
Is barely audible.
My senses are corralled
Inside the Palm of His wing.

She missed it.
She missed it all.
She slumbered.
The day before
Her anticipated storm.
Her senses dulled.
Confident that she is in
The Palm of His Wing

The wind will blow.
His wing will protect.
Outside sounds, though loud,
The song of love
Focuses her
Far away.
The roll of possible threat
In her distance,
Not in the forefront
Of her mind.
She sees and feels
The cup of the
Palm of His hand.
She knows and
She believes
Tomorrow will
Also be shielded.

“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress; He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad because they had quiet, and He brought them to their desired haven.

How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.”

~ Psalm 107:28-30 (RSV); Psalm 36:7 (NKJV)

Eileen and Kihm on day of Kihm's departure 10 days after my surgery

Kansas sky on country road near our home