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A taste of thunder and lightening

I love thunderstorms. At the first rumbling of thunder or flash of lightening, I can't help but grin. My 10-year-old daughter shares my fascination with weather, though my five-year-old son isn't so fond of the storm part (to put it mildly) ever since this one went through last year. But both of them consistently ask me to turn on The Weather Channel over cartoons or kids' shows.

Anyway, this morning we got our first real thunderstorm of the Spring here in Northern Virginia. It was a little one, but there was lightening and thunder, heh. It hit just as I was driving the kids to school, and boy, did they get soaked as they ran into the building. My daughter called me about 10 minutes later and asked me to bring her a dry pair of jeans, heh.

The storms here in Virginia don't compare to the storms I've experienced in other parts of the States. Arizona has those amazing walls of dust that blast through and engulf desert and city alike. In Kansas you can watch a cell shoot up into a towering anvil as it comes at you from miles away. And in the mountains of Pike's Peak, I actually saw a bolt of lightening hit in the trees just beyond the porch of the cabin I was standing on; I swear I heard a sizzle before the thunder shoke through me like a train. And then there's the South, where the sky goes green and the tornado sirens wail on a regular basis this time of year. I saw my only funnel cloud there--and came the closest I ever have to a tornado (one skipped by about half a mile from the Walmart in which I was taking shelter).

Why do I love these things so much? Among other things, they are one of the most mind-boggling word-stealing displays of power in this world of ours. It's not hard for me to understand why psalmists and prophets use storms and wind when they describe God. Nahum says: "His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet" (1:3 NRSV). Man, do I hope there are thunderstorms in heaven.

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