God, Hold Us!


“Is that a tornado?” Mom asked.

Winston* and his family had gathered in the basement due to a tornado warning. The strong wind had flown the front door open, and Dad had left to shut it. Now they heard a rumbling sound.

“No,” Dad said as he came back down the stairs. “I think that’s thunder.” But the rumbling continued for much longer than thunder normally does. “Um, maybe it is a tornado.”

“OK, everyone, heads under your pillows.” The family crouched and covered their heads as Mom prayed. “Hold us, Jesus. Hold us.”

When the rumbling stopped, Winston sat up. “That was cool!” he said, but he quickly changed his mind when the family went out front and realized most of their neighborhood had been destroyed. One of the houses had been picked up and dumped in the middle of the road.

Dad left to help pull Winston’s neighbors out from under their house. Shocked and worried about his friends, Winston started crying.

“Now let’s pray for our neighbors,” Mom said. Together they kneeled on the front porch and prayed for everyone’s protection.

The next day, neighbors shared their stories. One woman had been thrown from her home. An elderly woman who lived in the house that was now in the middle of the road had spent the night somewhere else. And the neighbors that Dad had gone to help were shaken but OK. Though twelve houses had been destroyed, the worst injury in the entire neighborhood was a broken arm.

But Winston was most shocked when Mom showed him a picture her Cousin Todd, who was a pilot, had sent. “This is our neighborhood,” Mom said.

Winston looked. The place looks more like a junkyard than a neighborhood.

“Where’s our house?” he asked.

Mom pointed to a peaceful-looking corner. Trees were still standing. No destruction was visible. It almost looked as if that area of the image had been covered by a God-sized hand, keeping it protected from the destruction around it.

“Do you remember what I prayed?” Mom asked.

“God hold us,” Winston repeated.

“Yes,” Mom said. “I think that’s exactly what He did.

*Name has been changed.

Photo by Todd Pettibone

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God, Hold Us!

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