Laughing in the Storm

The storm caught us by surprise last night. It came virtually out of nowhere about halfway through our homeward bound trek up I-55. Skies quickly darkened. Gloriously ominous clouds at first threatened, then made good on their promise and dumped gallons of rainwater from above. Winds swirled and the heavens erupted in a theater of lightning-riddled chaos that soon made driving all but impossible.

Along the highway, motorists were outmatched as our cars, minivans and trucks slowed from 70 mph, to 60, to 50 to lower speeds and eventually to barely a crawl. Our windshield wipers uselessly sloshed water left to right and back again in a comical display of bravado; there was nothing to see, no road to find. And I became quietly, increasingly concerned about safety.

As I peered out front working like Noah to keep us on course, an incongruous sound welled up from the back seat. It was the sound of laughter. My 10 year-old was sitting behind, wearing headphones, watching a video and laughing at whatever was on her screen. In the midst of this wildly chaotic and potentially perilous scene, her reality was oddly out of touch with mine.

Surely, she must have seen the assault outside. She had to know we were in the middle of a storm. But none of that seemed to matter. Her world was consumed with the movie or Disney tween episode playing out on her DVD player. Storm? Why worry? Daddy’s here.

Intuitively, she understood what Jesus’ very own followers did not comprehend as they sailed with Him across a choppy sea. For the Disciples, stormy conditions spelled certain doom. So, they wallowed in worry. Fear and anxiety engulfed their boat which could’ve been filled with laughter. They forgot Daddy was on board.

Perhaps my little one didn’t perceive our situation’s gravity. She may not have grasped all that could’ve gone wrong. Or maybe she felt free to laugh knowing Daddy’s got the wheel and he’s steering us safely home.

© Copyright Jonathan Clarke, 2012, All Rights Reserved

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