Monday before Pentecost: Psalm 29
Reading: Psalm 29
I had a running argument with a youthworker friend about the John Mark McMillan song, “How He Loves.” Her objection was to the lyric “Loves like a hurricane/I am a tree.” I’ve had others friends question the meaning in this song—one specifically wondering who is meant by “us,” the object of God’s love. But her quibble was with the imagery of a natural disaster being associated with God’s love. Her point—a good one—was that she couldn’t reconcile the known destructive horrors of a hurricane with any kind of love.
At the time I was in favor of the combined simile and metaphor (God’s love is like a hurricane; I am a tree—if you were wondering). I presumed all that the writer meant was that God’s love was so powerful a force that it couldn’t be resisted. I liked that. But my resolve on the point was eventually tested.
Five years ago the little Georgia town in which I live was struck by an EF-3 turned EF-4 tornado. The path of destruction was very much like the tornado had gotten off the highway at our exit and driven down our main street. It took years for our town to recover. Even I was a little surprised to find that after all we went through, I actually like that lyric more.
It’s undeniable that natural disasters take an enormous toll on human life and property. Yet there’s something incredible about the power of the nature that we witness in these storms. Unbridled force, seemingly from out of nowhere. It’s no wonder that people die shooting video of these storms. It’s hard to look away from something so spectacular. To witness such an event is nearly an honor.
Fortunately, the analogy falls apart when it comes to aftermath. We are invited to allow God’s love to consume us—not destroy us.
How else could you describe the power of the love of God?
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