William (23 Aug 2011)
"For Nicole:  "Storms a comin'""

My friend was given this by the Lord, she has many great writing in story form, sorta dreams on paper...

The landscape around me is bleak. I’m standing in what looks like a dried out, cracked lakebed. There are no trees or buildings to hinder my view. I turn around and see a wall of sand in the distance. Since the drought, the sand storms have been relentless. This one, however, looks rather ominous. The wall is clearly defined, and covers half the horizon.

“A storm is coming,” declared the voice to my left. I see it is my old friend.

“A storm always comes,” I tell him. “Always.”

“This one is different,” he told me as he pointed toward the wall. I turned my gaze back to the storm and see that it has begun to billow upwards, rolling and boiling, similar to the beginnings of a rainstorm.

“It looks unusual for a sandstorm,” I admit. Still, I know that the heat generates wind, which picks up the dust and sand and carries it along in rivers of turbulence in the sky.

“You have to be ready,” he told me.

I know that. I know I don’t want to be caught out here in the open field when that sandstorm hits. I’ll be blind, lost. I really don’t think that I can escape it, though. It’s too big and I have no place to hide. “How can I prepare?” I ask my friend. “How can I know the severity of the storm before it hits?”

Instead of answering, my friend points to man who is walking towards us. His appearance shimmers in the heat. He is wearing a shift that flows all the way to his feet. A rope is tied around his waist. Suddenly the man is standing directly in front of me, his hand across his brow shading his face. With his other hand he points back toward the storm. “Do you see the storm approaching?” he asks me.

I see that the storm has grown even taller, and is beginning to anvil out at the top. Most unusual, this storm.

“You have to prepare,” he told me. “That’s how you ride out the big ones.” He put his hands on his hips and half turns toward the storm. “My storm was a big one, too. I labored for years in preparation. Yes siree,” he said as he looked toward the ground in thought, “I knew she was coming. But,” he continued, “we aren’t caught unawares as long as we know what to look for.”

“But I didn’t know this was coming,” I objected. “I just looked up and saw it there.”

“It isn’t here yet,” he said as he turned to go. “If you can see it on the horizon, then you’ve been warned of its coming. And,” he turned around for one last look, “if you’re fully prepared then you’ll be safely inside when He shuts the door for you.” After a wink and a smile he turned and walked away.

Miserable, I sat down in the dirt and began to scribble in the sand.

“Whacha doin?” my friend asked.

What was I doing? My friend over there knows his storm. This man that just walked away knew his. I look to the horizon and see the approaching gale and I have no idea what I’m seeing. It’s cloaked in mystery, shrouded with unknown properties. It could have a frightening appearance but blow over with no damage, or be as devastating as a tornado. I cannot read these storm signs because I’ve no idea what they mean. I have never seen this before.

My friend lowers his hand to me and helps me up. “Someone is coming,” he says.

Another oddly dressed man walks up. “Do you see the storm coming?” he asks. He points to direct my attention back to the storm and I see that lightening now flickers throughout the sand cloud. It looks like its on fire as bolts flash from the center.

“Sandstorms don’t produce lightning! How can this be?” I look at the man for answers, not really expecting any.

“My storm produced lightening,” he answered. ‘It did indeed. Fire from within the earth spewed up and out, covering everything within reach. Lava flowed for miles. The heat from the thing created a maelstrom above its fiery mouth.” He looked at the pending storm and bowed his head. “Lightening blazed across the entire sky.” he said in reverence.

“But why?” I whispered even though I knew.

“To cleanse the stain.” He fixed his gaze on me. “Fire purifies.”

He started walking away so I shouted after him, “Don’t you have any parting words for me. The other man did, as he was leaving.”

“The other man?” he asked, without turning. “Oh,” he continued, chuckling, “he was here, was he?” He stopped and turned to face me. “Understand this from our storms,” he said. “Noah and I were both warned. It’s always that way, you know.” He walked away then but before he disappeared from sight I heard him call out, “Just be faithful.”

My friend walks by my side as we move parallel to the storm. He tells me, “let us be in awe of our God, and humbly submit to His wisdom and will for He has not hid these things from His own, but has revealed them unto His children that they may fully trust Him in all His ways.”

Just be faithful, I agree.