I was awakened at 3:30 this morning by a distant clap of thunder. Every couple of minutes another clap or rumble, louder each time. I lay there thinking of how every night, while we sleep in our beds, the clouds move over us, traversing the fields, crossing rivers, looming over houses and malls and parks. I was reminded of Genesis 1:2, before there was light or dry land, when"The Spirit of God moved over the face of the waters." An unmarked, unpeopled world without reference points and yet full of promise.
Finally, the thunder crashed around us and lightning flashed every couple of seconds, while the rains descended in sheets. We crept about the house closing windows, to keep a few drops out of a well-waterproofed house. I thought about a woman I had read about, a 40-year-old widow in Namibia whose late husband's family had taken her few posessions, some pots and pans and a cow and chickens. She is left with no rights, sixteen children and a patch of worn-out land. I send out a prayer for her into the darkness. Will my prayer be pulled upward against the rain, or will it splatter downward, disregarded? I curl up in bed with my husband, dry and comfortable and cosy while the rain falls, and drift into an uneasy sleep.