Thursday, 18 June 2009

Thunderstorms: G-d and me

(Image from NASA)

My good friend Ben invited me to dinner tonight, and I was glad to accept. He is a funny and truthful pal. He is also a good cook!

As I sat on his Lanai before dinner I heard rumbles of thunder in the distance. I enjoyed this sound. It brought back some good memories.

English children of my generation were told that the sound of thunder was caused by the delivery of coal in heaven. I s’pose we were told this so as not to be afraid. In fact, I (and probably most other children) knew that this was a silly tale, and we sensed that we should be nervous in the face of thunderstorms cos our parents were nervous.

I wonder what English children are told these days. They have never seen or burned coal, let alone witnessed its delivery.

I learned to enjoy thunder and lightning storms. I remember cuddling in a car with my girl friend Jan back in about 1965. We were in rural Worcestershire, and had stopped in the face of heavy rain as a massive thunderstorm. As we cuddled we revelled in the sights and sounds of the storm.

(Jan was a wonderful woman and I loved her greatly. But I knew that we could never be married as I would ever be tempted to be unfaithful - but with a man.)

My lovely dog “Penne” is totally unafraid in the face of thunder and lightning. For that I am grateful.
And I truly enjoy thunderstorms! We had a massive one on Wednesday night (bringing much needed rain)

English children of my age were told about the delivery of coal.

A much earlier generation saw violent thunderstorms as a sign of the majesty of G-d. One of the most poetic descriptions of such a storm is found in the Psalm below. It is one of my favourites.

Thunder and lightning storms are like sex. They are a fabulous mixture of beauty and danger.

Psalm 29 (Book of Common Prayer version)

Ascribe to the LORD, you gods, *ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his Name; *worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

The voice of the LORD is upon the waters;the God of glory thunders; *the LORD is upon the mighty waters.

The voice of the LORD is a powerful voice; *the voice of the LORD is a voice of splendor.

The voice of the LORD breaks the cedar trees; *the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon;

He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, *and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.

The voice of the LORD splits the flames of fire;the voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; *the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the LORD makes the oak trees writhe *and strips the forests bare.

And in the temple of the LORD *all are crying, "Glory!"

The LORD sits enthroned above the flood; *the LORD sits enthroned as King for evermore.

The LORD shall give strength to his people; *the LORD shall give his people the blessing of peace.

1 comment:

  1. As children we were told that thunder was just the angels bowling.