On Monday, I stood in the garage with the door open and watched an enormous cloud move east toward downtown Boise with great speed about half a mile or so north of me. I live on a slight rise, and the bottom of the cloud was hidden by the house on the ridge across the street from me. It was that close to the ground. It was spooky to watch the way the cloud was circling in upon itself from our side view. This, I was told, is how a tornado forms.
The photo at left (click to see full size) was taken about four miles east and one mile south of my house, probably within 30 seconds of when the cloud passed me. It felt even more frightening to me than what this photo shows because I had a side view of it forming and the speed with which it was moving and turning in on itself. A local TV station reported later that the National Weather Service was within moments of declaring a tornado warning, something we never have in Boise (at least not in my memory, and I’ve lived here all of my life). But I can believe it because I saw it.
Shortly after the ugliest part of the cloud went by, there came the wind. It blew our patio chairs off our patio. I saw one of them bang into the post before it spun and bounced across our back yard. Next came the lightning and thunder, followed by marble sized hail beating the windows and sides of our house. Then the rains came in sheets. The street gutters, the street itself, and the sidewalks were like a river, one surface from lawn to lawn. There was that much rain. Boise doesn’t usually get rain like that. We are high desert country. Very dry climate.
In my Bible reading this morning, I came to Psalm 29 and it made me think of Monday’s storm. Oh, the power of God.
Give honor to the LORD, you angels;
give honor to the LORD for his glory and strength.
Give honor to the LORD for the glory of his name.
Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.
The voice of the LORD echoes above the sea.
The God of glory thunders.
The LORD thunders over the mighty sea.
The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
The voice of the LORD splits the mighty cedars;
the LORD shatters the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf
and Mount Hermon to leap like a young bull.
The voice of the LORD strikes with lightning bolts.
The voice of the LORD makes the desert quake;
the LORD shakes the desert of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD twists mighty oaks
and strips the forests bare.
In his Temple everyone shouts, “Glory!”
The LORD rules over the floodwaters.
The LORD reigns as king forever.
The LORD gives his people strength.
The LORD blesses them with peace.