Monday, May 20, 2013

Tornadoes and God's people

When my firstborn was delivered a tornado was inbound. The sky turned green and we were quickly moved to a room without a window. My son's tempestuous personality is occasionally linked with this storm that flattened buildings, destroyed churches, tore the tops from everything that had one, and led to the deaths of a few and injuries of quite a number of others. People in Texas and Oklahoma know about sheets of rain that flood roads in moments, of hail the size of softballs, of lightning that shakes valuables off the walls, of winds that make a 30-year roof laughable.

I have huddled with my children in the family "safe spot" of our home. I have seen the funnel cloud form and turn towards me. I have outrun a tornado in my car. I know the fear.

May God protect these people in harm's way.

O Master, Lord our God, Who through Thy consubstantial Word, Who is without beginning, and Thy life-giving Spirit, Who is equal in honor, hast brought everything out of nothingness into being; Who hast set sandy barriers to the sea, and hast weighed the mountains and the valleys in a balance; Who hast measured the skies and holds the water in the palm of Thy hand; Who hast given to this visible world of the senses its law and rules, its harmony and order; Who hast appointed changes to the weather and variations in the orbit of the sun; Who, through the mingling of the elements, holds all things together by Thine inexpressible power and keeps them free from harm and intact: Do Thou Thyself, all-good King, extending to us Thine innate and customary love and goodness, visit the work of Thy hands. Do not deprive us of Thy mercies and Thy compassion, and do not destroy Thine inheritance, for Thou hast ineffably created us in Thine own image.

Thou hast given Thine only-begotten Son as a ransom for us, and through the mystical communion of Thy Spirit hast made us share in Thine own divinity; forgive, we pray, the multitude of our sins in the far greater multitude, of Thy mercies. Thou didst wash away the sins of humanity through the Cross and the Blood of Thy Son. Restore the world of nature, which has been grievously disturbed into an unnatural state, and restore it to its natural harmony and order. Make the great ocean return to its usual calmness, bring to end the tempest and the disturbance of the elements that threaten us, order the winds to blow once more with gentleness and moderation. Rebuke the raging of the sea and the unnatural violence of the gales; let the storm be stilled and the tempest return to tranquility, through the intercession of the most blessed Lady Theotokos, of all the Angels and Saints, and the good pleasure and love of Thine only-begotten Son, with Whom Thou are blessed, together with Thine all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

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