by: Marianna Boyce
What’s unusual about attending church on Sunday night in the Bible Belt? Nothing really, but when the sermon is interrupted by inclement weather alerts sounding on everyone’s phone, it is somewhat troubling.
On March 3, 2019, two EF-1 tornadoes were barreling toward Lexington. Our little church was directly in the path of the tornado south of I-20 in Red Bank. My eyes widened as I glanced at the alert on my phone. All I saw was, “IMMINENT DANGER…TAKE COVER NOW!” I certainly love a good thunderstorm, but having never seen this particular alert, so it was somewhat disconcerting.
Our sound man, Ben, calmly gathered everyone (except for my daddy) in the back of the church where there were no windows. Daddy bravely prayed in the sanctuary alone asking for God’s protection during this ominous storm. He organized Beacon Baptist Church in 1989 and retired from the pastorate last year. He remains a faithful charter member. Pastor Lawson, our new preacher, prayed with the congregation huddled in the back section of the church.
I’ve heard Pastor Lawson say before, “Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the hand of God.” We all sheltered in place and waited for the approaching storm to pass, but we never experienced the wrath it was packing on the radar. All was calm and peaceful. If that storm was overhead, it was like a “Casper the friendly ghost” tornado. I believe prayer is exactly what kept this tornado aloft.
With no weather-related drama at church, I headed home, not knowing this tornado visited my neighborhood just a few miles down the road. It was already dark outside because daylight savings time hadn’t begun. My husband arrived home from work about the time I did from church. Other than our cable being out, everything seemed normal. This was no big deal for us because we watch very little television anyway. Gerry played his guitar while I wrote my next blog post. We both slept soundly.
The next morning, we opened the blinds facing our backyard. We were surprised to see two trees across our privacy fence. I’m sure if I would’ve been home, I would’ve heard that ruckus. We walked in the backyard to check for missing shingles from our roof, and other possible damage to our property. Other than the trees across our pitiful fence, everything was perfect. We needed a new fence anyway.
When I left for work, I realized my neighborhood didn’t fare as well. Many of my neighbors were outside assessing their damages. Clean up crews were passing my house and stopping just a few houses down the road. The side street off the main road I reside was mostly affected. There were shingles strewn everywhere. Trees were twisted from their roots, haphazardly situated in other people’s yards. Detached carports, sheds, and fences were destroyed. Although extensive cosmetic repairs were needed, these wonderful neighborhood homes were all structurally sound.
Our sweet friends who lived next door promptly hired someone to remove the trees and damaged section of our fence. Once everything settled down, we called Total Interior and More to replace it entirely. I am not being paid to advertise for this company, but they went well above and beyond to make us happy. I truly appreciate all their hard work. Our fence looks great.
In order to better prepare your family for our unpredictable spring storms, visit https://www.ready.gov/tornadoes. Always listen when your emergency alert instructs you to “Take Cover Now.” Keep your eye on the sky. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
“…and the clouds are the dust of His feet.” Nahum 1:3b (KJV)