Are you prepared for storms?

Published 10:00 am Sunday, July 17, 2022

It was cleanup time on our street last Monday — all due to an unexpected mini-tornado that bolted through our property late Saturday evening. The day had been one of the hottest in the year, so an evening storm had plenty of energy to show its “stuff.” However, this “storm” blew in with tornado power, leaving behind debris and uprooted trees that gave it the likeness to a tornado.

Our back porch had overturned pots — big ones — with lanterns, a floor lamp and various objects tossed upside down or shattered on and off the porch. Our metal table with an open umbrella (my bad) was lifted and slung onto our porch steps several yards from its original spot. Limbs, dead and alive, covered our backyard, making a scene that reminded me of the infamous ice storm we survived years ago.

On that memorable Saturday, Othel and I had just settled in for the evening, feeling grateful that the extreme heat of half of the weekend was behind us. We had a light supper and read a bit, then turned on the TV. In a brief time, interference began to distort the picture, and Othel made the comment that there must be some bad weather somewhere close. We just didn’t realize it was THAT close.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

I looked up from my book to see through our back door. Our lighted walkway was about to lose its lights. The tiny strings of lights were blowing to heights and depths I had never seen. “Othel, those are not typical winds,” I said to him as I laid aside my book and walked to the door.

Every limb and branch on the trees that surrounded us were being lashed and tested. Suddenly we began to hear objects being blown against our outside walls and windows. Huge thuds pierced the darkness as I saw one of my tree lights fall to the ground. Othel was headed to our hallway by this time — strongly suggesting that I follow. Then the room went dark!

Whoever thought of the flashlight on the cell phone should be commended. Othel grabbed his phone and helped me find a couple of flashlights. I lit a candle and returned to my chair, at the same time realizing the winds had suddenly fled. All was very quiet and still. We had survived with our home still intact even though we would have hefty levels of yard work ahead of us.

We waited on the joyful sight of returning lights and the humming sound of the A/C … and waited. By 11:00 we decided to go to bed while the house was still cool enough for us not to notice the a/c was off. In the wee hours of the morning, our much-appreciated power repairmen fixed the problem and we woke to a cool and still-standing home. Once again God had spared us and our home.

I’ve had time to think about that event as I’ve picked up debris in our yard. Preparation is a key to everything. I had gotten a phone notification that afternoon that a storm was forecast for our area. I thought about the raised umbrella then, but put it off until later. Later was too late.

I realized even though flashlights were seldom needed, it was important to have a couple ready for an emergency. It’s impossible to search for anything in the dark.

The storm’s destruction came so quickly and lasted just a couple of minutes, but the wake of destruction and loss will continue for much longer. How often we can make quick but wrong decisions or thoughtless choices that last for a lifetime, ruining future plans and leaving scars that affect so many.

The MOST significant storm is death. It can mean an eternal storm for the unprepared or a doorway to heaven for those who know Jesus personally.

Like this physical storm, death can come suddenly — too quick to make any preparation or plans. It will be too late to escape the eternal darkness or find refuge. How many put off the MOST important preparation — life after death. Too Late is the most catastrophic of all epitaphs.

Camille Anding, P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602.