Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ice Storms & Earthquakes Revisited

We had an ice storm last Wednesday-Thursday.  That's a big deal in the Augusta, Georgia area.  That it was a one inch ice storm is really beyond our understanding.  That cracking of icy limbs and explosion of transformers throughout the long, cold night were unfamiliar noises to southern ears.  The angry ice monster tore the pine trees to pieces, while we couldn't see during the dark of night, so that our yards were full of huge limbs the next day.  Power was out from a day to 4 days for most of the area. and it wreaked havoc on us in ways that most folk just weren't prepared for.

You can heat us up with a month or two of 100 degree weather and we're fine, but cold and ice is a totally different story.  Even the Eisenhower Tree, the famous 125 year old loblolly pine on the 17th hole at the Augusta National finally, fell and gave in to the President's request as a result of this bizarre, damaging middle Georgia ice storm.

Since last week everyone has been doing clean-up, swapping stories of the ice storm and the subsequent earthquakes (Really!  The first was a 4.1 Friday night at 10:23PM & then a 3.2 Sunday afternoon), and trying to get back into a routine.

Tuesday & Wednesday I was spending time in different neighborhoods in Augusta checking in on folk and looking to see what church workers might do to help the community.  Tuesday afternoon I saw one of our homeless friends sitting outside in his usual place downtown.  He's well known as a "regular" with one of our church partner ministries.  He's an Irish Traveler from across the river and has lived on Augusta streets for a long time.  We talked a little while and then I asked him what he did during the ice storm.

Old Sherlock pointed to his usual door stoop, laughed loudly, and said he slept where he usually sleeps.

Now, he's afraid of the evil sometimes in himself.  And he's afraid of demons.  But Old Sherlock isn't afraid of big ice storms or earthquakes!

If you want to do an interesting Bible study check out how many times "fear" is a theme.  You'll find it mentioned in 50 books of the Bible.  We are taught to fear God, but not to fear so many of the things that cause us worry.  This is tough!  I'm thinking of people in tough neighborhoods or countries where the battle rages.  I'm thinking of violent homes and neighborhoods.  I'm thinking about most of our worries about fitting in, and money, and job, and home, and food, and security.

I'm thinking about Sherlock laughing about my fears, and God exposing my fears, and ice storms and earthquakes in the dark!

Psalm 91:1-6 says,
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.

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