Thursday night, Sept. 3, 2020, 11:50 PM.
Don’t judge me on my wussiness. Just hear me out.
Delaware has just come thru a beautifully violent thunderstorm — impressive lightning, ear-splitting thunder, torrential rain. Gorgeous by any definition.
Daughter #2 was visiting a friend in town. Evelyn and I had gone to bed around 9:30. Somewhere around 10:30, the phone rang. It was (as you would surmise) Daughter #2: “Daddy, could you come get me, please?” She was anxious about driving in the storm.
I told her that I thought it would pass soon. She said the family she was visiting agreed to let her stay until 11:00, and if things quieted down by then, she would come home on her own.
I happened to wake up around 11:15 and, since I hadn’t heard from her, hoped that she was on her way home. Instead, she was on her way to make a call to me: “I know it’s not raining right now, but it looks like it could start up again. Could you come to [my friend’s] house, and I’ll follow you home?”
For reasons that are not relevant to the story, I said yes. It’s only about ten minutes to the friend’s house, and I decided to drive our Malibu, despite the fact that it’s currently having a problem shutting completely off (don’t ask).
I could hardly believe my ears. The Sirius-XM station I was listening to was “enLighten,” which is the Bill Gaither (Christian music) station. Three songs played as I drove to town, and each of them made some reference to God’s being with us thru the storm. One even mentioned thunder, lightning, and rain!
As I was turning on to the street where Karlyn’s friend lives, I called her (Karlyn, not her friend) to let her know I was about to make the turn. As I approached the house, she got in her car, I pulled in front of her, and she followed me home. The song that played was identified as a new one for the artist (I can’t remember who the artists for these songs were), but the title was “Sometimes It’s the Radio,” which reminded us listeners that God speaks in a variety of ways, and sometimes (as it was for me in that moment) it’s thru the radio.
But God wasn’t done with me yet. The next song that played was Ivan Parker’s (OK, so I remembered Ivan) “I Can’t Get Over the Grace That I’m Under.” For me, that song pretty much encapsulated the whole experience I was having, which, in addition to guiding Daughter #2 home, served to remind me of God’s constant presence at all times. It was prayer, pure and simple, except that this time, God was speaking to me instead of the other way around.
Finally, as we were about to arrive back home, the final song came on the radio: “There Was Jesus.” That song is basically a retelling of Jesus’ life from his birth to his resurrection, but in the context of my evening, it was the crowning message: as I drove thru the remnants of the thunderstorm we had just experienced, God’s grace was with me, and there was Jesus alongside me.
I’ve got to remember this evening so the next time somebody asks for an example of a time when God’s presence felt especially close, I can tell them about the wussiness that motivated my drive into Dover and how sometimes, the radio speaks to me.
Oh, and by the way … when I turned the Malibu off, it stopped completely. Sometimes the blessings just keep on coming.