Monday started with Barbara calling to see if I had put away the lawn chairs and if I thought this was the first seal on the scroll. I answered affirmatively to the former question and agnostically to the latter.
My daily Bible reading took me to: “The LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day and all that night” (Exodus 10:13). It reminded me that storms come from God, and that though they seem like very blunt instruments, they are actually precision instruments administered to each locality exactly as He sees fit.
At 10:30 a.m. I went to the Walmart in the city for a new cell phone card in case our landlines got cut off. I passed a disheveled, gap-toothed man who said to me, though we would not normally have spoken, that it looked like God was showing off His power. The thought seemed to please him. I pondered that the imminent return of God is good news to some and mournful news to others.
At 4:45 p.m. I phoned a man in my church and asked forgiveness for the tone I had taken with him. This had nothing to do with the hurricane.
At 6 p.m. I phoned my 6-year-old grandson who calls Jesus a superhero and told him to look out his window tonight because his superhero was about to be powerful. To my distress, somebody had gotten to him before me, and I had to explain several times that “Mother Nature” is make-believe and that Father God is the real thing.
The power went out and I was exposed as one of the five foolish virgins with unprepared oil lamps. The flashlights were down to flickers and I had neglected to buy candles on the morning jaunt to Walmart. On a hunch I ran up to my 18-year-old daughter’s vacated bedroom and was delighted to find she was positively squirrel-like in her stash of assorted scented waxes. I read Thomas Paine’s Common Sense by candlelight and wrapped in sweaters, the way it should be read.
The next day my mother and I played Scrabble in my parents’ apartment a mile away that had power. As I don’t own a television set, I was surprised to learn that it is possible for talking heads to discuss weather for an entire day and never run out of pictures of roller coasters in the sea.