Storm Damage

We had quite a storm blow through last week.

Black skies. Strong winds. Horizontal rain. Flying shingles.

When the worst of it had blown over,  we ventured out to survey the damage.

Shingles littered the yard.

Corn stalks from the neighbor’s fields hung in the trees.

One skylight on the workshop was broken.

Branches and sticks were everywhere.

And one huge silver maple tree was ripped from the ground by the roots.


That storm left a mark that we will be cleaning up for sometime!

But as we started to pick up sticks and sharpened the chain saw, we noticed a common theme.

The shingles were all from the old house. They were old, worn and not well attached. The limbs that had blown down were mostly dead branches.

And that big old silver maple? It was totally rotted inside.

The storm did the most damage to those things that were not well grounded or secure.

But the tree didn’t look rotten from the outside. It was big and beautiful and fully leafed out.

And we never saw all the dead branches and limbs hiding in the foliage.

But when the storm hit, it didn’t matter what they looked like on the outside or how well hidden they were.  The strong winds found and destroyed them.

There’s a lesson here.

The storms of life will come.

The winds of adversity will blow hard and you will feel deluged by the realities around you.

And when they do – will you stand firm?

Is your faith solid to the core?

Can you stand secure in your heavenly Father?

Dig your roots down deep into the bedrock of His faithfulness and let it rain!


She’s Gone Home

A part of me still can’t believe she’s gone.

She was doing well and fighting this cancer – then with out warning a blood clot took her life.

Absent from the body, present with the Lord.

Her going sent a shock wave through our small church fellowship. Yesterday was a day of grief as we sat together and remembered her.

The tears flowed freely as we heard story after story of all the things she had done – all the needs she saw and quietly met. Nothing big or newsworthy – just faithfully serving – touching life after life.

She wasn’t one to be in the limelight. She wasn’t one to teach, or sing, or be on stage. She would most likely be washing dishes in the kitchen, reading to a friend in the nursing home, or hugging someone while speaking a few words of encouragement.

You see – she loved.

She loved her Lord and that love radiated from her. She wore her heart on her sleeve – and freely shared it.

She loved her husband, her daughters, and all those grandchildren – passionately.

And she loved us all – especially our children. When she heard a baby cry in church she would smile and say, “I love that sound – it means the church is growing!”

Our stories, our lives, and our needs were important to her. There wasn’t a person in the church – from the youngest to the oldest – who didn’t know this because she showed us in so many ways.

She was a prayer warrior.

She was my prayer warrior.

I would share a request. She would squeeze my hand and say “I’ll be praying.”

And she did.

She prayed me through every Christmas program, every VBS, and every little crisis that seemed overwhelming. She prayed my children through airplane flights, illness, and attitudes.

She prayed.

She would ask how things were.

When I answered, “Not so good.”

She would pat my hand and say “I’ll pray harder.”

And she did.

We had two special prayer requests that we committed to pray for together. She went home before seeing either of them answered.

I’ll keep praying for them – but on my own now.

It’s hard to believe that she will never again reach over and give my hand a squeeze or a pat and remind me that God has everything under control.

Yes, God does have everything under control.

Even though our hearts are sore with grief – we are rejoicing that right now she is sitting at the feet of Jesus – worshiping. No more pain. No more suffering.

She’s gone home.

While we will miss her sweet presence – we are so thankful for the legacy she left us.

In her own quiet, unassuming way she taught some really big lessons – how to serve faithfully, how to love extravagantly, and how to pray fervently.

As one gal said so beautifully yesterday, “She was the woman I wanted to grow up to be.”


Photo by Dr. Paul G. Tuli.