now know what Noah knew!
the January/February 2004 issue of Homecoming Magazine)
April 7, when I went to the lake for the weekend, I had no
idea what I was in for.
have a houseboat. It's really a mobile home on floats. The
whole thing is made out of tin, so it's a wonderful place
to sleep when it's raining.
it started raining around 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. I turned off
the TV and started listening to the sound of raindrops gently
tapping the window as I laid in my bed. (Or, is it 'lay in
my bed'? Or, 'lei'? I always get those mixed up.)
I was prostrate on the bed (I sure hope I have that one right),
thanking God for such a beautiful evening. My houseboat has
always been a place of peace and rest. Everyone who has ever
stayed there says so.
was just about to nod off when I heard it coming. At first,
it sounded far away. In the distance. Faint. Like the rumbling
sound you hear before a thunder clap. But this thunder never
sound was coming closer and closer - like a freight train
rolling down the tracks. I've never seen a train on our lake.
Yet, this rumble got louder and louder. My heart began to
race. I'd never heard anything like it. My Attention-Deficit-Disordered
mind began to spin horrific scenes of my impending doom. I
thought Saddam Insane had nuked Nashville and the mushroom
cloud was headed in my direction.
it hit! Woo Doggies! A tornado!
boat began to buck and rock, creak and crack and lean sideways.
It sounded like the Concorde was landing on the roof. I was
thrown from my bed. My life flashed before my eyes. I reached
for the bedroom window. I tore back the curtain and saw lightning
streak across the night. With each strike, I could see the
wind was blowing so hard the rain was flying sideways. Then
another flash! The back rope that anchors my boat to the shore
had snapped and the other two were barely hanging on.
thought about jumping out of the boat and running across the
lake... But, then, I remembered, "I can't do that!"
electricity was out, so I stumbled to the front of the boat.
I looked in the direction of the pier next to mine. When the
lightning flashed, I couldn't believe my eyes. I saw a black-and-white
snapshot of Pier 2, broken, flipped upside down on the bows
of several houseboats. Right after each flash of lightning,
all was black again. I could see nothing.
couldn't be happening. There were people on those boats. Lightning
flashed once more and I saw that it was true. Broken legs
of the pier stretched into the black sky like the fingers
of a monster in a scary movie. I thought of Cape Fear.
got on the two-way radio and discovered that everyone was
okay - upside down but okay. No lives were lost. Everybody
made it through the storm.
next morning, I went upstairs to check things out. The wind
had shredded the tarp. The chairs, table and loungers were
blown to the front of the boat and were piled on top of each
other. It looked like an altar call at youth camp.
houseboat-dwellers met at the store to drink coffee. We do
that every morning. Mostly, we tell tall tales and wild fish
stories. But, that morning, we talked about the storm. When
I told them I thought terrorists had bombed Nashville, the
ladies laughed and the men just rolled their eyes and shook
through a tornado was frightening. If I had known, in advance,
I was going to live through it, I would have enjoyed it a
think that's the way it's going to be when I get to Heaven.
I'll probably look back over my life and think, "If I'd
known I was going to live through it, I would have enjoyed
it a lot more."
guess what? I am. And you are, too! Live or die, sink or swim
- Death doesn't win! We're gonna live through it!
- To see the pictures, click here.
All original contents © 2004-2009 Mark Lowry Productions,