“Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command!” – Psalms 148:7-8
Some of you may know about Cosmo’s Pizza in Southern Shores. It’s been a favorite for our family – especially our sons Jacob and Joshua – ever since we served the Currituck Charge. Whenever the boys are home for a visit, there’s an effort to make the road trip to Cosmo’s. No arm-twisting necessary. So last week we kept the tradition going, dodging rain clouds on the way down from Camden, welcomed by this rainbow as we headed inside for some good pizza.
Dinner was interrupted by a couple of emergency broadcast alerts on our phones, reminding us of the unstable weather outside. After thoroughly enjoying our pizza (and having our take home box in hand), we headed out and began our return to home. As soon as we were westbound on the Wright Memorial Bridge, this ominous cloud formation out our left side windows blocked any attempt of the sunset showing itself. We all marveled at how low the dark clouds were rolling across the waters, and wondered what we would face in the remaining drive back home.
The right side windows were filled with a sky turning darker each moment, and angry lightning cracked all over. Ahead, out the front window, a wall of rain was advancing toward us, playing chicken with us as we made our way across the bridge. The hair on the back of my neck raised as I white-knuckled the steering wheel, and all of my senses were locked in on doing my best to keep us safe as we headed into this rain wall, slowing my speed, clicking on the flashers, and asking someone to take a look at their smartphone radar to see what we were dealing with. “Uh Dad, it’s pink.”
Pulling into a very well-lit BP station, we parked alongside many other drivers and waited it out. There was a bit of excitement mixed with concern, as this was obviously not a planned event, when we all heard it at the same time. Tink…tink-tink…tink…tink-tink-tink. We realized the sound of “tink” equaled pink, as pea-sized hail was hitting our vehicle and accumulating on the pavement around us. And then we started admiring the hail, laughing about the hail, praising the hail, for it was not something you saw every day. The hail started falling with the rain, and added a little percussion to our surround sound stormy symphony.
In our psalter lesson for this coming Sunday, Psalm 148 includes a list of those invited to the symphony of praise to God: the heavens, all his angels, sun, moon, shining stars, sea monsters, fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command. All creation is to praise God!
James Limburg (in his commentary, Psalms), reminds us of what Claus Westermann once said: “It is praise which binds humans with all other creatures” (501). What fun it was to be reminded of this in the middle of a spring storm last week. How thankful we were to become participants in a symphony of hail and stormy wind, praising the Lord!
Where might you praise the Lord and celebrate with all other creatures this week?
Let’s keep praising, even during the storms, friends.
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