Friday, July 21, 2006


St. Louis Storm

A weaker version of the storms that hit St. Louis yesterday came to Louisville today. I spent most of the day in a county south of Louisville making arrangements to offer insurance to employees of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We have finally been approved to offer these to state employees. Tuesday, on my first trip to another county to offer these employee benefits, I wrote seven policies with total annual premiums of more than $1500.00. To put that in perspective, I made more commission Tuesday than in all of the previous seven weeks I have been an insurance agent. Of course, it took a couple of days to set up the appointments. That is what I was doing in the county south of Louisville today: setting up appointments to offer insurance to state employees next week.

On my way home this afternoon, the Interstate took me within five miles of my mother’s house. I telephoned her and she invited me over for dinner.

My mother, who is 84, doesn’t do a lot of cooking. Thus she sent me out to purchase our dinner from a Chinese resturaunt. I’ll admit the meal was satisfying, even though I had lunch at that same resturaunt a couple of days ago.

The storm hit just as we finished eating. From my mother’s den I watched the trees in her front yard bend to more than a 45 degree angle. The rains came down so hard that I could hardly see the street in front of her house. Of course there was also thunder and lightening—loud claps of thunder and lightening bolts illuminating the dark sky. Mom complained that she could not make it down the steps to the safety of her basement, but urged me to retreat to the shelter of that subterranean vault. I stayed where I was: gazing out the window at the force of the storm.

At some point I thought I saw the reflection of one of the trees in front of her house in the grass of her yard. I figured that it was some sort of illusion caused by the intense rain. Then I began to suspect that what I was seeing was not a reflection but actual leaves and branches. I opened the door and saw that a huge limb—the size of a small tree—was situated on the ground across the front of my mother’s yard and blocking her driveway. The limb was about 8 feet from the rear of my car.

Blocked in the driveway by a limb too large for me to move alone, I ended up backing across my mother’s very wet front lawn. I’m thankful that I have 4-wheel drive; otherwise, my car would now be stuck in my mother’s front yard.

The positive result of the storm is that the heat has been reduced: the temperature here is Louisville is now 72 F—the lowest we’ve had in more than a week.


As I re-read this post I wonder about my priorities. Heat, storms, and insurance sales seem so mundane when so much of the world is involved in armed conflict, when innocents are being maimed and dying in so many places. I realize that, in a few moments, when I am involved in my evening pray time, I shall pray for “all who live with war and rumors of war.” Is that enough? I usually end my prayers, personal and corporate, with a phrase commending all for whom I have prayed to God’s grace and care and the words “remind me to do more than simply pray for them.”

I suppose I have just set an agenda for a future blog post.


  1. Hopefully we will get a little relief from the heat tomorrow, even if it is in the form of thunderstorms. I've heard it said that we should work like everything depended on us and pray like everything depended on God. ec

  2. We have storms here but not so severe as it is in your part of the world. My native, which is on the arabian sea coastline receives continuos rains and torrents for nearly 3 months--and that's something i've missed. Love to be there when nature hits hard(don't know if I'll say the same thing after experiencing it firsthand)
    Always interesting to read your perspective, nick

  3. You can't carry all the world's problems on your back, Nick. Maybe can't bring peace to the Middle East, but you can ride out a bad storm with your mother- I think that has value, too.

  4. Nick, I saw a bumper sticker that said 'if you want peace, work for justice." I think that's a good reminder to us all. Personally, I have found that if I take care of things at home with my family and friends, I receive greater compassion and understanding for all of the fighting. Granted I am not living in a specific war zone, but I am learning that on many levels the basis of all conflict is some form of fear.

  5. Your prayers sound like they are full of good will for all, Nick.

    This is what we're beholden to do- it counts for a lot!

    & you being with your mom at that time was a very good thing, too:)

  6. Hi Nick...hope it cools down for you soon.

  7. Hi Nick ~~ I am so glad you were there with your mother to help sort out the tree, and even just in that severe storm.
    I am sure your prayers are heard and help this old world of ours. You can
    not do it all yourself. By the way, how is Tiffany? Are things better for her? Take care Nick, Cheers, Merle.

  8. MREDDIE: Here is Louisville we have had some relief from the heat. It hasn’t hit the 90s in a couple of days and the present temperature is 75. I hope you’ve had some relief, too.

    VISHWA: I have read about your “rainy season”—monsoon? I would like to experience it, too; although I don’t know if I could take 3 months of continual rain.

    THOMAS: Thank you! I sincerely needed to hear your words. It is easy for me to get so concerned about the world’s problems I forget about the smalls shaloms I experience in my daily life.

    PEACH: I agree with that bumper sticker: my theology informs me that there can be no peace without justice. You make an excellent point regarding your family and friends. I once was certified to teach a course entitled “Parenting for Peace and Justice.” A major point in that course was that peacemaking begins in our homes; if there can be no peace and justice there, we cannot have peace and justice in our world.

    RHAPSODY: Thank you. We agree. One of the three theologian Niebuhr siblings—I can’t remember which one—wrote that we are called to live in God’s Kingdom of Peace and Justice at the present moment, even though the Kingdom is yet to come. I wish all people could and would.

    KYLEE: Thank you! It’s been a bit cooler the past several days; however, the pollution is still hanging over the Ohio River Valley. For me, the high ozone levels means that breathing is still difficult, but much better than when the heat pushed the pollution down to ground level!

    MERLE: Thank you. The tree was removed by my mother’s neighbors. They are great folks—and she is blessed to be living within such a caring and compassionate community.