By Linda Porter Carlyle
Trevor Paul Monroe listened to the weatherman’s calm voice on the radio. “The storm front pushing down from the arctic should reach our area tonight. Strong winds of up to 45 miles per hour are expected, accompanied by heavy rainfall with snow accumulating in the mountains . . .”
Trevor switched the radio off. He sighed. He didn’t want heavy rain. He didn’t want 45 mile per hour winds either! His class at school had been studying all week about weather. About hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, avalanches, and mud slides. He had not realized before this week how dangerous weather could be! It was even dangerous if the sun shone all the time and it never rained or snowed at all. Then you could have a drought. And food wouldn’t grow. And you could starve!
Trevor pulled aside the curtain covering the living room window. He watched fat raindrops hit the glass. He could see the slanting rain in the glow of the streetlight out front. Puddles glistened on the sidewalk. A car slowly splashed down the street.
Trevor felt as if about 50 butterflies were fluttering around in his stomach. No, it felt more like they were boxing in there! He never used to be afraid of storms. But now he knew they could be really scary. What if the wind blew so hard that trees fell over on his house? What if the wind blew so hard that the roof blew off? What if it rained so long that the street flooded and the lawn flooded and then his whole house flooded? It could happen. He’d learned about stuff like that in school.
Trevor felt another ten or so butterflies join the ones already in his stomach. He hadn’t even thought about the electricity going out!
Crack! “Thunder too!” Brad whooped. “Whee-eee!”
Trevor hurried into the comforting kitchen. He stood next to Mom and watched her stir the pot of corn chowder simmering on the stove.
“Hey, Trevor,” Mom greeted him, planting a kiss on the top of his head. “I hope you don’t grow taller too quickly,” she said. “I can’t kiss the tops of Brad’s and Ben’s heads anymore. Unless they’re sitting down,” she added with a laugh.
Trevor didn’t say anything.
“Is something wrong?” Mom asked, putting down her long-handled stirring spoon.
“No—yes—no,” Trevor mumbled.
Crack! Boom! Boom!
“That was close,” Dad commented, coming in from the garage with an armful of wood.
The lights in the kitchen flickered.
“Trevor, help me carry in some more wood,” Dad said. “We’ll build a fire in case the electricity does go out.”
“Maybe we’ll have a candlelight supper,” Mom said merrily.
The butterflies flapping around in Trevor’s stomach seemed to grow bigger. Trevor went into the garage. He picked up two heavy pieces of wood and carried them to the living room.
Dad was on his knees, carefully arranging the logs over a pile of kindling in the fireplace. “What a night!” he said as the wind whipped and howled around the corners of the house.
Trevor dropped his logs on the hearth with a clatter. “I don’t like it,” he muttered, his voice quivery.
Dad looked up. “What?” he asked.
A tear leaked out of Trevor’s eye. He just couldn’t stop it. “What if the roof blows off of the house?” he whispered. “What if it rains so much our house gets flooded?” he asked. He hurriedly rubbed the tear away, but another one took its place.
Dad pulled Trevor down beside him on the floor. He wrapped his arms around him and held him close.
Trevor sighed. He rested his head against Dad’s firm chest.
“I don’t want you to worry about stuff,” Dad whispered in his ear. “Worry is like a big, heavy suitcase that you get all worn out lugging around,” he went on. “Worrying isn’t good for you.” He sat quietly for a minute. Then, “Doesn’t your memory verse this week say something about not worrying?” he asked.
“Peace,” Trevor answered. “It says, “ ‘My peace I give you. Do not be afraid.’ ”
“That’s what I thought,” Dad said. “It says, ‘Don’t worry!’ You can’t have peace and be worried at the same time.”
Crash! Boom! The sound of the thunder seemed to echo in the room. Dad tightened his arms around Trevor. “You’re in my arms,” he said. “But, more importantly, you are in God’s arms. And God says, ‘Do not be afraid.’ Hey!” he exclaimed. “Would you like to sleep in the living room tonight? We could get out our sleeping bags, you and I, and sleep here in front of the fireplace.”
Trevor grinned. “Just you and me?” he asked.
“Just you and me—together,” Dad answered. He grinned back at Trevor. “Do you know what my mother used to tell me when it thundered when I was a little boy?” he asked. “She used to say God was moving His heavenly furniture around. And then my father would say, no, the thunder was the sound of God’s trombones.”
Trevor laughed. Some of the butterflies in his stomach slid away.
“Do not be afraid,” Dad sang softly to a jazzy little melody of his own. “Do not be afraid! ‘Do not be afraid,’ God says. Do not be afraid!” Dad shoved Trevor off his lap and scrambled up on his knees again. “Now help me get this fire started,” he said.