I live near Omaha, in southeastern Nebraska. If I ran to the basement every time I heard a tornado si-ren go off, I’d never get anything done. So when a siren wailed one Friday in June, just two days before Father’s Day, I didn’t pay it much mind. I wanted to get my dusting done before settling down for the day. Besides, it wasn’t even raining, with barely a cloud in the early-evening sky. Maybe they’re testing the system, I thought. They do that a lot around here.
Asher, our 12-year-old grandson who lived with us, winced at the insistent wail. “Are we going downstairs?” he asked.
I looked out the window, the sky still blue. “Let me do a little more work,” I said. “Then we can get a snack and go downstairs and turn on the TV.”
“Maybe we should pray?”
I nodded but stubbornly polished a spot on the bookcase. Truth was, I’d been feeling spiritually stuck lately. I used to wake up early every morning and devote the first half-hour of my day to prayer and Scripture reading. But it had been months since I’d prayed intentionally. I barely opened my Bible anymore.
It’s not as if I were angry at God. I’d simply fallen into the habit of checking my Facebook feed first thing in the morning, then checking my e-mail. By then it was time for breakfast with my husband, Jake, seeing Asher, getting the chores underway.
Over the din of the siren, I could hear another sound, distant yet unmistakable. A speeding freight train. There were no railroad tracks anywhere near our home.
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