The wonder and the awe. Ripples of thunder tearing through the sky. The gently increasing patter of rain... large drops. The smell of electricity. The rumble and the expanse fill the environment, louder and louder as it looms, brooding over existent creation.
“I roamed the countryside searching for answers to things I did not understand. Why thunder lasts longer than that which causes it, and why immediately on its creation the lightning becomes visible to the eye while the thunder requires time to travel. How.”
—Leonardo da Vinci.
Its imminence and eminence beckon. The distance between lightning shards and rapidly joining crashing thunder closes. The risk of chance peals away for waves of rolling subtlety. For perfection of meaning the thunder wins—it commands the attention.
“Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his?”
—Job 40:9 (NIV).
It’s alive and dominant; an ever-modern marvel. The body waits for evidence of its passing. Stratospheric change and dynamism abound high above. We witness and we wait. We watch with intent. We listen and we try to learn.
Trickling through the conscious mind, it leaves as quickly as it came. For dog and small child, relief. For others, the wonder of mystery. The creative mind rests.
And what is left then? The residual, ambient gently crashing waves on the beach; they seemed thunderous, before the light show of God’s majesty.
“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: ‘Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.’”
—Revelation 19:6 (NIV).
Thunder. A symbol for what comes. A symbol of the apocalypse, of redemption, of the holy wonder of God’s coming. But a taste of what lays ahead.
A symbol of God’s power and that of his created nature. Why thunder; why lightning? We may well ask.
Yet, we remain; we gasp in awe, cling together, remain fascinated by its power, worry for roof, turn off the electrical, and think of the immediate future.
And God’s wisdom it is in sum. So far as it is above our own, we accept with humble delight; we shall never know.
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.