A couple of nights ago after just falling asleep, I was awakened by the sound of a siren. It was the kind that usually only lasts a few seconds and then is followed by an announcement that says “this is only a test”, only this time it kept going. It took me a few moments to realize that and when I did I checked my cell to see what was going on. I found out that there was a tornado warning which stated something to the effect of “take shelter immediately, there is imminent danger to life…” So I grabbed some pillows, held on to my phone and headed to my bathtub, (which in my second floor apartment was my safest bet). There was a relative sense of calm, but also a strong flight or fight response in my body, heart pounding and all!
I got into child’s pose, (thanks to some good yoga practice) covered my head and back with my pillows and started talking to the Lord. Mostly asking to be with Him. It was interesting how all of a sudden all the other concerns that I’ve been struggling with were completely irrelevant. There really was no telling what could happen next. What did happen was that I sent out a group text to my friends to see if everyone was ok and within the few minutes it took everyone to respond the warning was lifted. That was that.
I’ve been thinking about it since then, and it feels like it was another kind warning, another clear wake-up call and another indication of how extremely fragile and unpredictable this world is. And the question remains, what is my response to that? Do I just think “whew, I’m glad that’s over and, I’m so grateful it didn’t get any worse”, or do I continue to take seriously how crucial it is to turn to the only Source of safety that is eternally reliable and infallible?
I’ve also been thinking about the phrase “shelter in place” knowing that our only true shelter is in Christ.
Let me dwell in Your tent forever; Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings..
For those who believe, this may serve as a reminder and for those who don’t, as an invitation we’ve all been given. What a generous and wonderful gift! Why would I exchange it for anything in this crazy world, and why do I ever forsake the freedom and peace it brings?! One thing that is undeniable is death and we have a chance to face it every moment of every day. Dying to our self and all that comes with it. Letting go of “our life” in exchange for true Life.
I realize that might sound obscure, but it’s the most simple and beautiful reality one could hope for. His Life is Love and it can fill our souls as they are emptied of all else. I can’t make that happen, but I can ask for that. I can start with even the willingness to ask and a heart that is humbled by a constant realization of how powerless I truly am.
I don’t want to bide my time and not heed the warnings we’re being given. Now is the time to turn to Him, and turn away from what is temporal at best. We have a soul that is ever-lasting, which needs to be held far more dear than what is so precious to us in this world. Of course we still need to love and care about one another, but I hope that reaches a deeper level of caring for the only part that matters. Without that, there is “imminent danger to Life”.