A couple of nights ago, I was awakened at 2:30 a.m. to the shrill whine of tornado sirens outside my window. Ah, springtime in Oklahoma.
Giant chunks of hail hit my window, and my daughter came careening down my hall in a fit of fear before I could even sit upright in my bed. (My boys, incidentally, did not wake up. I suspect that if the roof lifted off our house and some tree branches reached in and picked the boys up and shook them upside down, they might wake up. Might.)
As I held my daughter and tried to awaken, I noticed the room was illuminated by the soft glow of our tiny television, and my husband was silhouetted, sitting at the foot of our bed. His eyes were honed in to a scary-looking radar screen.
"Shhhh," he whispered. "Go back to sleep. I’ll keep an eye on things, and I’ll wake you up if we need to go to the shelter."
For about 2.4 seconds I considered arguing with him. Then I looked at my daughter, who had already fallen back asleep in my cushy bed, and I just nodded. I was horizontal and sound asleep before I could think another thought.
The night dragged on, storms ravaging our city. I awakened several more times to thunderous, howling noise, but my sleepy eyes always saw, first of all, my husband at the television. And every time, I relaxed instantly, dropping back to sleep.
The visual image is staying with me powerfully: my strong husband, quietly yet sharply keeping watch over his family, while the rest of us were sleeping too soundly to know to be thankful. We just slept, because it’s what you do at nighttime, and we left all the safety issues to him.
And I wonder, as I navigate other kinds of "storms"–will the day ever come when I rest quite as easily in God’s watchful care? His silhouette may not be as visible–to my eyes, anyway–as that of my husband’s, but He is surely perched just as soundly at the foot of my bed, on the hood of my car, on the shoulder of my children, on a dusty road in Uganda. May I trust, and rest.