Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Day After

Rapture Day came and - nothing happened. Well, not exactly. No one was “raptured” yesterday. But I can’t helping thinking we here in my town were “warned.”

Saturday was just the most beautiful day imaginable, especially after all the rain we’ve had. We had so much rain, in fact, that Mom and I postponed our Friday evening Rapture Eve celebration and scheduled for yesterday instead.

On Friday, in between formatting photos and writing up stories for the website at work, I was checking the weather report. We were supposed to have nice weather for the weekend (the Rapture, notwithstanding). I also have some vacation time this week and I wanted to check the long-range forecast to see how I would be spending.

That afternoon, I looked at The Weather To my shock, we were on the northern, inner rim of a perfect circle of heavy rain and thunderstorms, just the kind of weather pattern that produces tornados. I jumped up and ran to the window to look at the clouds circling around. I could see the whole circle from where our office stood.

I wanted to call my friend, the facilities manager, to make sure he knew, but he was off on Friday. His assistant didn’t know what to make of it. My co-worker is the emergency writer. “Isn’t anybody paying attention!” I cried. He said he only wrote what people told him to.

According to the Weather Channel, the “Perfect Low” would collapse into a mass of ordinary rain clouds and move on. The clouds hung very low, almost to the treetops in places. During lunch we were amazed at the continuous rainfall. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any heavier, it did.

But then it was over and by the next morning, we woke up to beautiful blue skies on Saturday. Mom and I decided on pizza for our last meal. The pizza parlor is just a walk way and I decided to leave my car behind for the short jaunt.

“You’re going to walk?!” my mother said. “But it’s almost 6 p.m.!” I just laughed.

Only, I’d forgotten my credit card. As I walked back home, minus to pizza pie and rented movie, I saw some ominous storm clouds approaching from the northwest, a typical weather pattern for our area, at that time of day. This time, I’d have to get my car, though.

By the time I got my car and returned to the shopping mall, the skies were quite dark and the wind didn’t know which way it wanted to blow as it tossed whole trees back and forth. It was one minute to six when I got to Blockbusters and checked out the movie. One of the clerks fretted nervously. She was looking at the dark sky and the wind.

“I’m so afraid!” she said to her co-worker, biting her nails. “What if this is it?” Her friend laughed, the man checking out my movie was too busy trying to figure out my address, and I told her that the rest of the world had somehow made it through. This was just a rainstorm.

“But what if it isn’t?” she asked, her eyes round and wide with terror.

My next stop was the pizza parlor. I had parked next to an expensive-looking convertible, a sporty two-seater with its top town. I told the manager he might want to speak to his customers to find the owner so they could put the top up. Someone ran out and I left with my pizza.

I came back home and announced that I had the pizza. Mom didn’t move from her chair.

“Well, come on, Mom!” I said. “Here’s the pizza.” She was looking at the trees blowing to and fro.

“It certainly is blowing out there,” she said in a low voice. I just shrugged and got the paper plates and a knife to cut the pie. I don’t know why I wasn’t the least bit afraid. I probably should have been. But I think I was just too hungry at that point to care.

I certainly wasn’t worried about my mother. Mom meets all the Big Ten requirements. She honored her mother and father. She refused to bear false witness against her father when her mother wanted her to testify that he pulled a gun on another relative. She never killed anyone, stole anything, coveted anyone else’s property, or lied. She was a faithful wife (married to a faithful husband). She’s never taken the Lord’s name in vain. After a fashion, she observes the Sabbath. She considers every day to be the Sabbath and thinks those who go to church on Sunday and figure they’re done are a bunch of hypocrites.

She’s kind to animals and to people in trouble. She hasn’t just donated her money to “causes”; she’s actually gone out of her way to help people in trouble, particularly one divorced man with no family who was dying of cancer and couldn’t afford hospital care.

Mom is everything you could want in a mother and more. Courageous, honest, loyal, outspoken, literate, shrewd with finances, fair-minded, and an all-around good Christian, even if she doesn’t believe in going to church.

She was worried about being “raptured” but I don’t know why. If I understand the phenomenon correctly, you’ll be carried up to God by a whirlwind, directly. No death or suffering from disease or injury. In one whoosh, there are you with God, worthy enough to bypass the Judgment Seat. ‘Your room is ready, ma’am!’ What more could a good person ask for?

I said that God wasn’t going to give anyone any warning beforehand. But what do I know? I think He did give us a warning, at least here in this area (even the Bergen Record noted it – the reporter happened to be in this town at 6 p.m.) that the storm is approaching and that we’d best take shelter and not be caught out in it, walking along cavalierly, thinking the sun will always shine, taking God's good humor for granted. The storm will come upon us swiftly and darkly. We’d best pay attention to the signs.

There, I hope I got His message right.


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