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The Fire of God

last night the sky was filled with some of the most spectacular natural imagery my eyes have seen in a long time. i had cooped myself up in the house all day to get a bunch of unpacking done. at about dusk, i was in the basement going through boxes and i started hearing a fairly constant, low rumbling of thunder outside. badly in need of a break, i decided to head out for some storm-watching. the sky overhead was one massive cloud of apocalyptic darkness that stretched endlessly to the east. every few seconds, hazy patches of skittish light would flash from obscured bolts, momentarily interrupting the darkness like camera flashes at a concert when the band starts to play. and at least every minute or so, a bold streak of lightning would cut through the darkness in a violent crack of white light. i had left the house at the right time, because to the west, there was just enough room between the edge of the darkness and the horizon to reveal a bit of pale blue sky, highlighted by burning edges of sunset orange. that peaceful sunset slowly being swallowed up by the storm was such a rare and fascinating juxtaposition.

after driving around for awhile, i parked out near the airport runways where i knew there would be nothing but open sky for me to take it all in. i must have stayed there in my car for nearly an hour just watching the lightning. i had trouble figuring out which direction i should set my gaze, as the "fire of God" was coming down all around the horizon and i didn't want to miss any of the magnificence. there were towering bolts that seemd to come down from the very center of the sky all the way to the horizon line. a couple of times, i witnessed a bolt of lightning begin to race straight across the sky and then splinter off into multiple jagged streaks that looked as if the atmosphere was being torn open above me. sometimes, a single bolt of lightning would almost strobe, flashing in rapid succession and then fading after what seemed like a longer final flash. a few of the especially spectacular bolts literally made me exclaim in awe and i think my jaw remained dropped until i pulled back into the garage. i don't know if God was trying to upstage all of the fireworks from the weekend or what, but if he was, then he definitely succeeded.

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