Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Powerless






Powerless

There are times when God reminds me how powerless I am.
Rather than making me feel weak and frightened, it can remind me to put my security in Him, not insubstantial things like my own prowess or cleverness.

Last week I got an object lesson in what it means to be powerless.

Friday night about 3:00 a.m. crashing and booming sounds woke me. Rain sheeted against the windows as if a giant were aiming a pressure hose at our house. Wind roared through the many trees in our neighborhood. Lightning flickered off-rhythm with the sharp cracks of thunder. Our power went out, and we peered through the rain-covered windows to see huge branches scattered through the yard.

Powerless, we eventually went back to sleep, waiting for the morning to reveal what the storm had left behind.

The view from our front door was heartbreaking. Three huge pine trees had snapped in half, while some limbs had been picked up by the storm and carried across the street into our yard. Our maple had dropped some significant limbs, too.

But the backyard was worse. Several huge, thick limbs from our neighbor's tree had broken and fallen over the fence into our yard, creating a sculpture that looked like a huge tree standing on its head. It crushed the corner of our garden fence, and blocked our access into the garden. No damage to our house, except that the fallen limbs are tangled in powerlines.

At first the power company was estimating power would be restored by Monday night. Then Tuesday. Today we've been told they are "hoping" to have "a majority" of power restored to homes by Thursday night. Yep. An entire week of no power.

Ninety degrees and humid with no air conditioning and not even a fan. No toaster. No microwave. No computer.

I'm at the library with my laptop - taking an opportunity to check on urgent emails - but unable to access my email addresses (I purposely don't keep anything on my laptop so I won't be distracting when working on a manuscript with my laptop).

My friend Camy is visiting, and we've been stamping (while the sun is up), talking shop, going for walks, and eating lots of peanutbutter sandwiches. It's amazing how many things I start to do--then remember I can't because we don't have power.

But even though it's inconvenient, being powerless has been good for my soul. A forced vacation. (I can't get to my manuscript on my main computer.) An exercise in adapting, in listening to whatever lessons God has for me in this experience. A chance to break some addictions (no watching NetFlix movies, no radio in the background).

We borrowed a generator, but even that is a lesson. Which few things will we plug in? We are using it to keep our fridge running, so we won't lose our food, and we ran a line to our neighbor's for their fridge.

Last night another storm moved through our area. We sat in the backyard and watched the lightshow as the storm approached. Striations of fierce light cut through the clouds. Some softer pulses of light glowed from behind the edges, silhouetting the curves of clouds for a second at a time.

I swatted at mosquitos, breathed the crackling air, and thought about how big God is. He created the world. Storms don't alarm Him. The Psalms talk about Him riding on the wind...about the earth being His footstool. My smallness was a comfort to me. There is One who is big, and holy, and loving who is above and in it all. One who is in control. I try to control so many things in my life - even the people around me. This week, as I wait for power to return to our house, I'm trying to embrace being...

...powerless.

Sharon Hinck

7 comments:

Cheryl Klarich said...

Oh Sharon! My prayers are with you. Thank you for sharing your faith in times of weakness. Hugs and blessings.

Justin B. said...

The internet is such an addiction for me, sometimes I'm so glad when my broadband goes down! I get so much more done!

Char said...

Hey Sharon,

I know exactly what you are going through. In 1998 here in Maine we had "Ice Storm '98". The ice was two inches thick on any thing. The entire state was with out power, some people for almost two months! It was certainly a state of emergency. As beautiful as the winter wonder land was... it was rather miserable. People who had fireplaces found them selves hosting all those who didn't.

Even still many died of hypothermia, there was no getting warm with out a fire.

Down trees, down lines, ice encrusted every thing, impassable roads, no way to get to the power lines in some places. It was certainly crazy.

That was certainly a lesson in being powerless. It made you wonder just how people survived this far north in the winter way back in the day. Tis no wonder so many perished the first winter.

I hope you get power back soon, I fully understand the boredom of not having power, and the eerie silence when you can't have even the International House of Prayer cd playing quietly in the back ground.

Be blessed!

Char

Valerie Comer said...

And I thought the 23 hours we were powerless on June 29 was bad! We used our generator to keep water flowing to the cows. And were thankful for natural gas stove and hot water tank. Hugs, hope it all goes well.

Sharon Hinck said...

Cheryl, thanks for your prayers! Our power is now back on. Yeah!

Justin, I know what you mean. If I didn't need my computer so much for my work, I'd enjoy having no power because I'd get more done. I'm trying to get more disciplined about not checking emails and visiting blogs too much.

Char, your comment made me remember to be grateful that this didn't happen in the middle of a Minnesota winter.

Val, you have cows? That is so cool! When we worked for a church in a farming community many years ago, I would walk down a country road near our apartment and stare at the cows because I'd never seen any up close. One time the owner of the field (and cows) drove by in his pickup and asked me if something was wrong. He didn't know why I was standing there looking at the cows. After I explained my fascination, I'm guessing he muttered "city folk" as he drove off shaking his head.

Valerie Comer said...

LOL, 15 cows and accompanying calves, a bull and a couple of steers awaiting freezer space...and 40 acres to keep them all in/on. So not just cows but an entire farm, albeit small.

Glad your power is back!

VAIL said...

Wow! What a mess! Sounds like you are taking this situation that God has given you and finding his gift therein.
Several years ago, while my husband was down in New Orleans assisting with Katrina Clean Up, we had a lot of rain come through. It caused a HUGE, several hundred year old Oak Tree to fall over the road in front of our house (traffic is about medium on this road and there are no street lights - we are not in city limits). It happened about 2 am, the noise when it fell was terrifing. It was dark and pouring rain out, so I didn't know what the noise was, didn't know the tree had fallen. moments later an another noise occured that made my heart skip several beats. I called 911, and after police got there I ventured out to find an 18 wheeler hit the tree that was blocking the road, going about 55 miles an hour. The truck was totaled, I heard the man ended up OK.
In June we had another Oak go down in a storm, across a road on the side of our house, that is the only road in/out of a neighborhood! I love old oak trees, but I sure am scared of the biggest one in our yard coming down on my house!
Good luck with the clean up!