Lightning at Twilight

The day had lengthened to that time when evening begins its fade into night. The dusky light reminded me of the walk I had intended to take, and I finally pried myself away from the computer. My usual short route took me up to the farm on the hilltop, the road there winding through the trees. The sun had already slipped behind the distant hill as I began my ascent.

Evening birds gave occasional calls from the deeper shadows of the trees, but otherwise the journey was quiet. As I approached the hill crest everything opened up, the trees giving way to fields and distant hills. There I saw the storm.

The clouds hung in the distance, directly above the advancing road but far beyond my path. The last rays of the sun struck the outer edges of the mass so that it appeared as undisturbed evening clouds. Then I saw the flashes of a brighter light.

In the first moments I was sorry I hadn’t brought a camera. But a camera relieves us from seeing, from pondering the moment around us, and in us. Instead; Click. Picture. I’ll look at it later. And we move on without thought. But now, if I wanted to remember this, I had to stop and see. Really see. So I did, and I was glad I did.

The late July corn field on my left–not yet fully grown, but getting there–stood witness to the night like a regiment on parade formation. In the sky on my right reached the last shreds of pink dusk. and below that lay the cow pasture. A few distant bovine settled for the night, the silo towers in sentinel watch, the farm at rest. Ahead, the crest of the hill, the far distant horizon, the sky. Faint peach reflection in its highlights, the cloud bank faded to grey. Then it changed, flashing bright with lightning. Above all this hung the moon, high enough I had to tilt the head to encompass it in the picture. There it floated, suspended over the scene, serene–as if to say, “The world–that storm–rages, but it can’t touch me.”

The moon observed, and how safe, comforting, and sure it seemed. But the storm–oh, the storm!–how it raged. Lightning flickered in the clouds, erupting deep within. The storm was so distant I couldn’t hear the thunder, but I could see. Sheets of lighting would strobe, like some glorious beast stirring in the depths, like God was there. Then a striking bolt etched line from cloud to earth, dancing.

Perhaps most marvellous was how it all played out so silently. I saw the distant world pummelled, and not a breath of wind where I stood on the brow of the hill. Perhaps there is a picture here for how heaven’s host watches the show on earth. I wanted a chair and a porch on which to sit and watch.

I walked slowly, and stopped a bit to watch. From dawn to dusk, how much we miss between the span of  our horizons. We’re down here with our faces pressed against our screens, caught up in our own glowing visions, and He is up there putting on a show that we’re all ignoring. Our eyes strain from the looking and still we haven’t seen.

2 thoughts on “Lightning at Twilight

  1. Cynthia

    THIS resounded in my soul…as I sit staring at my glowing screen! But, yes, I pray that I will more regularly take note of the joyous show that God displays throughout his creation from the greatest to the smallest detail!

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