Recently divorced, we moved into a brand new basement apartment we built in my parent’s vacation home in the mountains of Western NC. 3 weeks in this beautiful landscape I would never have thought God was going to save my life that night.
Giving my daughter some cold medicine I put her to bed around 7:30 pm. Mom was upstairs doing whatever.
Finally able to sit down, I noticed the sky seemed strange looking. It wasn’t long after that you could hear a few rumbles of thunder. Storms in the mountains can become vicious in a matter of minutes.
Checking on my daughter periodically she slept as peacefully and deeply as always.
By 9:00 pm the storm began to rage. It wasn’t just raining; it was dropping buckets of water from the sky with a vengeance. Thunder, lightning and wind roared consistently giving a free light show. This wasn’t just any summer storm; it was a gully washer pouring its wrath on the mountain top.
About 9:30 I decided even as the storm seemed to worsen to head for bed.
In this little apartment my bedroom was directly across from the bathroom. The bathroom was quite large with a siding window to the left of the door and the mirror directly in front. I left the window opened as we didn’t need A/C.
After brushing my teeth, I turned around and walked out. Once my feet stepped from the linoleum of the bathroom floor onto the carpet, a thunder ball of lightning hit. I thought it was a bomb.
Turning around, the bathroom looked like a war zone. Glass, debris, plaster from the wall was flying everywhere. Pieces of the mirror were flying through the air slamming into the wall making crevices where they stuck. The screen on the window was blown out allowing leaves, limbs and other flying objects into the bathroom. And then I smelled something burning.
Standing there in absolute shock, watching this horror movie I was aware enough I needed to get in there and shut the window. Finally after a few minutes I ran in between the debris flying and closed it.
Turning around came the next big shocker. If you have ever smelled linoleum burning, you know it stinks. My brand new floor looked like a melting pot of mush.
The 4-6 inch hole in the cement allowed me to see the ground below the slab. Talk about seeing a ghost. It was as if the ground had blown up.
Getting my senses I ran out to check on my daughter. Sound asleep, she hadn’t heard a thing. Feeling a little woozy, I found my way to the steps and sat down. Mom ran down the steps and asked me if I was ok.
She took one look at me and told me I was pale. She asked what happened and all I could muster up was to point to the bathroom. Her reaction to the hole in the cement was she needed to sit down too.
At that point I realized we needed to call the fire department. Living on this steep mountain in the middle of this raging storm, 5 fire trucks, police cars and the EMS showed up. Running around checking the house for burned wires, etc. they declared it was safe except for the bathroom which looked like a tornado had run right through it.
According to the Fire Chief, lightning struck the water line out at the street and made its way underground and blew a hole about 6 inches in diameter through almost 6 inches of cement. My respect for lightning has never been the same since.
There are quite a few miracles involved in that one night of terror.
A few seconds made the difference in me getting slashed, cut or hit by broken glass or debris.
Had I been standing between the toilet and the bathtub, I might not be writing this now.
The cement that was blown out saved my mother‘s life who was in the bathtub directly above it upstairs. Had the floor in my bathroom not blown up, the lightning would have continued through the water line and electrocuted her.
Last but not least was “sleeping beauty” who never woke up. In fact we tried to explain the story to her the next day. The noise, the firemen running around the house even going in her room to check on her. The massive hole in the bathroom floor didn’t convince her we were telling her the truth.
Reflecting on this life changing event many years later I can sum it up like this.
God not only saved my life, he saved my mother too.
God taught me the power of lightning is nothing to mess with.
And maybe most of all is the power of a little 5 year old girl, who didn’t hear, see or know the storm was wreaking havoc on our new home.
As Jesus slept on a boat in a blustery storm, so did she.
The best words I can think of to describe that night was “Out of the mouth of babes.”
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