Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Day I Talked With God

Winters in Ohio are very cold with lots of snow and sleet and driving winds, all of which combine to make life miserable for us Buckeyes. You'd think that we would be happy with our summer weather - hot but not too hot with just enough thunder storms to make life exciting, provided that the tornadoes go to Indiana - but we're not. Especially if we are five year old little girls scared of our own shadows.

Grammy and the other women in the family thought it was funny to see me hide under the bed and cry every time thunder pounded the walls of our home. They told me it was just the angels bowling or God cleaning house. But none of those silly stories calmed my fears. Grampy was also very aware of my fears and decided to help me get over them.

Grampy was a big man; six feet tall with snow white hair and remarkably strong for his almost sixty years of life. One early summer afternoon as dark clouds drifted on the horizon and Grampy and I were alone on the farm, he asked me if I would like to talk with God. I was thrilled at this idea and eagerly held Grampy's hand as we walked together across the road to our corn field where stalks of corn were standing knee high, whatever that meant.

I expected that we would go into Grampy's tractor barn or maybe a patch of sunflowers sprouting along the edge of the field. Certainly God was in a beautiful place. But Grampy led me farther in the field until we stood at the crest of a small hill where the land curved and glided in soft waves allowing us to see for miles in every direction. I took in my breath, gazing at this beauty until I saw distant dark thunder clouds gliding toward us. "We better go back to the house," I said.

"We can't leave," Grampy said. "You haven't met God yet."

"Well, He's not going to come out if it rains," I objected.

Grampy didn't argue, he just tapped his lips with his finger, signaling me to be quiet. He raised up his face and I did the same.

"What do you feel on your face?" he asked me.

"The wind," I said.

"No," Grampy replied. "It's God's breath breathing more life into this world."

Lightning flashed long golden jagged lines to the earth and Grampy said, "What is that?"

"It's lightning," I said and looked for a place to hide.

"No," Grampy said, "It's God's fingers touching the earth He created."

Thunder boiled in the sky, its bass sounds vibrating against my breast bone and pounding against my ears.

"What is that?" Grampy asked me.

I shook my head and clung to Grampy's hand. "It's thunder," I almost cried.

"No," Grampy said. "It's God's voice, calling us to love Him."

The thunder growled, more lightning flashed, and rain began falling.

"What is this?" Grampy asked.

"It's thunder," I shouted.

Grampy said, "It's God's tears falling for those people who will not love him."

For long seconds, Grampy stood in silence, gazing up at the sky, smiling at the wind and rain. Then, looking down at me, he said, "Now that you have talked with God, you need never be afraid again."

I laughed and Grampy laughed and we danced with the rain drops back to the house.

That was 73 years ago. I now live in Florida, the lightning capital of the world. When thunder storms come and even grown up people run to hide, I stay outside to talk with God while Grampy smiles with pride at the brave little girl he helped God create. Where would we be without our fathers?

Happy Father's Day.

Posted by Diana for Margaret

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