Recalling what Bostonians fondly call “the Blizzard of ’78″, which I experienced as a teenager thirty-two years ago this Saturday (and Senator Scott Brown experienced his freshman year at Tufts) I called my parents today to see how they are doing.
They moved down to the DC ex-urbs years ago (to get away from the harsh winters up here). They now sit in the path of what is shaping up to be the second of two once-in-a-lifetime blizzards down there in scarcely six weeks.
I find it interesting that, on the map, the term “paralyzing” sits directly over the nation’s capital. Scott Brown is being sworn in to his Senate seat as I write this, a week earlier than Democrats would have liked, after a brief if impotent legal tussle.
Recall that another strong storm struck the Kennedy compound with incredible precision the very day of Teddy K’s funeral. Then, the very day the door slams shut on the last trace of Camelot (an interim TK friend sat in his seat pending Brown’s swearing-in)… another big storm comes to town.
With this audience I hardly need to expound on the symbolic significance of the flooding expected to follow it, except to add emphasis to something Joseph Herrin said in one of his recent posts. Floods and torrents can represent words, e.g., Revelation 12:15 — “The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood” (I.e., false words/seeds).
All of which reminds me of George Bush’s first inaugural:
After the Declaration of Independence was signed, Virginia statesman John Page wrote to Thomas Jefferson: “We know the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm?”
Much time has passed since Jefferson arrived for his inauguration. The years and changes accumulate. But the themes of this day he would know: our nation’s grand story of courage and its simple dream of dignity.
We are not this story’s author, who fills time and eternity with his purpose. Yet his purpose is achieved in our duty, and our duty is fulfilled in service to one another.
Never tiring, never yielding, never finishing, we renew that purpose today, to make our country more just and generous, to affirm the dignity of our lives and every life.
This work continues. This story goes on. And an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm. God bless you all, and God bless America.
UPDATE I: Ran across this bedrock passage (Isaiah 55:10-11) and thought it apropos in view of a city known for spewing words of all kinds in all directions.
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?”
When that wind began to howl, I think Elijah thought, “It’s about time, Lord. Blow Jezebel right off her throne—throw her and her sinner friends to the winds. Blow them all away!” But God was not in the wind!
Wise words. And particularly remarkable since I believe he writes these things days or weeks in advance. Read the rest. As usual, it is both short and very good. (Thursday’s is equally awesome, also on Elijah — the “one way servant”.)