Honor His holy name with Hallelujahs, you who seek God. Live a happy life! Keep your eyes open for God, watch for His works; be alert for signs of His presence. Psalms 105:3-4(MSG)
August 5, 1970 is a day I shall never forget. I was 10 years old and living in Corpus Christi, Texas. This was the day that hurricane Celia would make landfall in the Corpus/ Aransas Pass area. Celia’s winds reached 125 miles per hour. Fifteen people were killed, 446 people were injured, 8,950 homes were destroyed and 60,000 were damaged. The total damage was in the millions and today would translate into billions.
Surprisingly our modest pier and beam home survived the storm. We did have to sweep and soak up at least an inch of water pouring into the living room, watched trees snap into, and saw a part of a palm tree fly through the air.
While those events are etched in my memory, the one aspect that I remember the most is missing and worrying about my father during and after the storm.
Daddy was a line foreman for the Central Power and Light Company. Any time there was a storm, wreck, fire, or any type of disaster he would be on call. Daddy never talked in detail about the danger of his work but I had a vivid memory of him coming home one evening after an emergency room visit. He was belted to an electric pole that fell. He was on the bottom side of the pole and shimmied to the top side before it hit the ground. He was alive but very banged up.
In the case of hurricane Celia we would not see him for a couple of weeks since his temporary home would be at the CP&L headquarters. The awareness of the danger he faced tended to weigh on me especially with the knowledge of the immense number of live power lines being down. I just wanted to know he was alright. So any communication or sign would be welcome.
We actually had electricity early on. Company policy was that the men that worked for the electric company could restore service in their neighborhood first. (Our neighbors loved having dad living in their area)
One morning as my sisters and I woke my mom told us to check the crisper in the refrigerator. Not completely understanding the request but full of curiosity we ran to the fridge. In the drawer was the most wonderful surprise. The drawer was stocked with a sampling of our favorite candies. She told us that daddy was able to drop by in the wee hours of the morning and he wanted us to know he was ok and missed us very much. Each morning we would wake and there would be a new batch of candy in the drawer. While the candy was awesome, I remember sighing with relief each morning the crisper had been stocked.
Now I am grown with a family of my own and daddy has gone home to Jesus. Over the years I have experienced many joys and a number of trials. During some of my trials and stormy days I have prayed in desperation “Heavenly father, Are you here with me because sometimes I feel so very alone.” As written in Psalms 105, when I am watchful for His works and presence the answer is always the same. “Sweet daughter of mine, I will always be here and never leave your side.”
Thank you my precious Lord. That is the sweetest assurance of all.