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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Thump (05/30/13)

TITLE: Storm Memories
By Carla Rogers


"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

Martha was proud of her accomplishments of the morning. A load of freshly cleaned clothes lay in the clothes basket, another one in the dryer and another one in the washer. She hardly noticed the praise music over the activities of making a house a home.

With her hands in the dirty dish water pulling on the next crusty plate that screamed to be sparkling, the skies darkened so quickly it was hard not to notice. Instinctively, she pulled her hands out of the filthy water, watching the bits of food leaving a trail in the suds as the water drained, leaving the rest of the dishes crusty. Living in the country, with a water pump and iron plumping, Martha’s mother had taught her to never be around the kitchen or the bathroom during a storm; lightning can hit anywhere, following roots of trees.

While her mind ran through her to do list, she heard the claps of thunder getting closer.

Not one to waste precious time, Martha pulled on the cleaned clothes to put them in their proper place. THMUP! Feeling the house shake, she knew that noise, that feeling. It had happened before when she was little. Lightning had hit the house. Eerily, there was nothing; no lights, no sound, nothing.

Martha had never realized how much white noise there was in the house. The running of water, the sloshing of the washing machine, the whir of the dryer, the hum of the electronics, the lights at all hours run under the radar of the senses. With the lights off, nothing clashed with the lightning show streaking across the sky with no limitations, spreading light to all the dark places; the rain bringing healing and nourishment to everything in its path.

All her senses sent Martha back to childhood, standing with her mother at the open porch door watching the storm. This was her mom’s version of preventive maintenance, teaching Martha not to fear storms. They stood at the door and sang, “I see the rain and the rain sees me, God made the rain and God made me”. They said this for every aspect of the storm.

The lightning show, the raining drumbeats and unusual household silence drew Martha to seek God. The white noise of living had interfered with her preparing her heart to hear God. This happened so quietly that she hadn't even noticed how far away from God she was drifting.

She opened her door to watch the storm and quietly prayed for forgiveness. Eagerly, Martha prepared to reacquaint herself with her Father. She grabbed her bible, which fell open to Zechariah 2:13 “Be still before the LORD…” (NIV)

Abba, I praise you for your gentle thumbing that reminds us to search for you. Forgive me for allowing the noise of living to drown out your voice. Amen.

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This article has been read 182 times
Member Comments
Member Date
lynn gipson 06/08/13
This is good. I could feel the fear of the coming storm and the house shaking. I too, go to God when a storm comes. I lived through Ivan in 2004 when an oak tree fell on the house. Talk about praying! Very well done.
Allison Egley 06/08/13
This is good! I like it.

My only suggestion, and this may be a personal thing, but the ending feels too.... convenient. While God can definitely speak to people by having their Bible just fall open to an appropriate verse, it usually takes a bit more seeking.

You did a great job over-all, and yes, sometimes God does take drastic measures to get us to focus on Him. :)

C D Swanson 06/09/13
Beautiful job with this lovely story. God can do anything, at anytime...so if He wants to speak to you, and get your attention He will. I loved the ending.
And, although I pray to Him for everything, and speak to Him all day long...I most especially get on my knees before a storm and during.

Nicely told, God bless~
Matt Guddat06/11/13
That was for me! I love the time lapse involved, when a childhood memory comes back. I think jumps in time can add an extra dynamic that keeps the reader hooked in. Good length too. Strait to the point and no messing around.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/13/13
Congratulations on ranking 5 in your level and 15 overall. (The highest rankings can be found on the message boards)
Carla Rogers 06/14/13
I can't believe that I was in the top! I can't even believe that I ranked 15th overall. Thanks Shann for the help. Hopefully, you will continue to mentor me - I always need it.