The wind blew with such force the trees bent close to the ground. We continued west down the rural road. While the sky grew darker, the clouds hung low and swirled above us.
We should have listened to the forecasters and stayed home but we had to go to the couples retreat to save our marriage. This would be our Hail Mary, our last chance to avoid divorce. Somehow over the years, our perfect marriage had turned into two people living separately under one roof. Love and communication were only memories of a distant past.
We drove through the driving rain in pelting silence. Hail fell from the sky and to the south we could see the fast approaching storm.
“Is that a tail dipping out of that cloud?”
Tim looked in that direction and at that moment, a tornado came twirling down and touched on the ground heading in our direction. He swerved the car to the side of the road and we ran to the nearest ditch.
Wind whipped around us flinging debris in the air. The tornado was gone but the wind was tremendous. Huge gray cotton ball clouds swirled above. Day became like night.
My husband and I huddled together in the ditch. We were surrounded by farm land and no shelter could be seen. Suddenly the tornado dropped from the low hanging cloud again and began to churn the earth. The atmosphere was heavy; the sound of the roaring tornado deafening.
We clung to each other like never before. Seeking to shield each other from the storm, we watched in horror as the monster approached with great speed.
“I love you Maggie, I’m sorry for everything I’ve done to hurt you!” Tim screamed.
I buried my head into his chest and wept. “I love you too and I’m sorry, please forgive me!”
Tim prayed, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.”
Suddenly I felt like there was a third presence huddling with us. We prayed together for God’s mercy and grace. We felt stronger together and stood to proclaim God’s promises.
“Jesus, in the Word it says where two or three are gathered you are there. Jesus save us!” cried out my husband.
“Lord, you are our strong tower. We run to you for safety!” I prayed as I looked heavenward.
We lifted our arms high. “Lord we have faith in you, we believe Lord.”
My husband turned toward the tornado and loudly said, “In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to be silent and be still!”
Before our eyes, the tornado became smaller and smaller. It became a small rope and went back into the cloud. The wind became still. A gentle rain fell.
My husband and I looked deeply into one another’s eyes then held each other tight. I still felt that third presence and I knew it was God.
My husband whispered into my ear, “All we needed was God, Maggie. That’s what has been missing in our marriage.”
It takes three to make a strong marriage. You, me and God.” I whispered back and said a silent prayer of thanksgiving.