"It was a dark and stormy night..." is usually the beginning of a thrilling book we read for entertainment. Millions of people in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and New York experienced a dark and stormy night at the hands of Sandy, a rare hurricane that came onshore in New Jersey. It was a terrifying night: winds howling with a sound I've never heard before. Those who live in hurricane or tornado prone areas know what I mean. It's almost other-worldly.
Equally terrifying was the sound of trees snapping from their strongholds and waiting to see where THAT one would fall. Over and over, as our family playing cards to distract ourselves from the mayhem outside, trees cracked and crashed to the ground.
Now here was the miraculous part: I took a break from playing blackjack with the family and walked to the front of the house. I peered out the large window of my bedroom, straining to see anything with the blackness and the raindrops on the window. I silently prayed to God to please protect my family from harm. I asked that he place his loving arms around our house and keep us safe. I was specifically watching two trees situated not far from our house as I fervently prayed.
As I strained to make out shapes in the dark, I watched as the 60' tall tree closest to the house was uprooted and poofed to the ground. I just said poofed to the ground, because it did NOT make the same sound we had been hearing all evening. It fell rather delicately as if it landed on a pillow.
Chills ran through my body because this 60' tall lichen covered tree fell miraculously in the ONLY spot it could without causing harm. It could have hit the house, it could have blocked our driveway, it could have blocked the road, could have ripped the lines down, but instead fell toward our neighbor's driveway and didn't even throw a branch onto his blacktop!
It was as if God was playing flick football with the tree! To witness such power is truly awesome and it is an experience I will never forget.
I am full of gratitude to God for watching over my family and sparing us the worst of the storm. The impact for us is largely inconvenient at this point and not devastating.
The next day brought light and the reality of what had passed through the Mid-Atlantic states. You've seen enough news broadcasts to know the depth of the destruction. I won't detail all the sights I saw, but suffice it to say it looked like a hurricane went through. (I say that with a small smile, because it reminds me of my mom telling me my room looked like a hurricane went through it when I was a kid.) Now I know what it REALLY looks like.
When power is restored I can add photos to show you...but until then...stay safe everyone and try to show a bit of kindness to your neighbor!