“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Prov. 17:22)
The rain began coming down so hard, you could hear it pounding the roof and the covered porch. The lightening ﬂashed through the windows and the loud booming thunder made the house shake.
I whimpered as I got as close as I could to Dad’s big brown chair.
Dad reached down over the side of the chair and laid his hand on my head. “It’s alright boy. You’re safe in here. Nothing’s going to hurt you,” he said as he began to scratch behind my ears.
Suddenly, the terrible storm didn’t seem so bad after all.
The lightening ﬂashed and I could see through the window that the cows were huddled together on the hay inside of their barn.
I knew Marvin was in his house of branches, probably curled up inside his rope and under his blanket. At least we were all safe.
I fell asleep as the storm lasted into the night.
There was a tapping sound on the window that woke me up.
The rain had stopped, but there was a distant rumble that meant another storm was coming our way.
There was the tapping again.
I got up and headed toward the window. I thought, “Who in the world would be out on a night like this?” It sounded like a bird, or a squirrel, or a…
The lightening ﬂashed and there was Marvin tapping on our window!
“Why is Marvin out in this storm and tapping on our window?” I thought, and then I noticed a strange orange glow behind him.
As I got closer to the window, Marvin turned his head and looked toward the cow ﬁeld. And then I saw it.
The tree next to the barn was on ﬁre and a branch had fallen to the ground, catching the cow’s hay on ﬁre!
I ran to the front door and began barking with all my might.
“Mom, Dad, Brother! Come quickly. There’s a ﬁre!” I barked and barked.
Mom got to the door ﬁrst.
“What is wrong with you Jake? Why are you wanting to go outside? Can’t you hear the thunder? There’s another storm coming. All right, all right. Let me open the door,” she said.
As soon as the door was cracked open I pushed my way past her and ran out onto the front porch. I could smell the smoke in the air, and Mom smelled it too.
“Raymond, the barn next door is on ﬁre! Call 911!”
I ran around to the side of the house where Marvin was on the window ledge.
“What happened?” I asked.
“There was a big bolt of lightning and a loud clap of thunder, and the lightening hit that tree and caught it on ﬁre,” Marvin said. “I could hear the cows mooing and so I came to get you. I think the cows might be in danger.”
The thunder was getting louder, and I could barely hear the cows mooing over the rumble.
I ran to the fence, and there through the smoke I could see Spots still in the barn, the hay beginning to catch on ﬁre all around him.
His eyes were wide and he was mooing as loud as he could, while his mama and daddy stood out in the ﬁeld mooing back at him.
There is something about ﬁre that freezes a cow with fear. All they can do is stand and moo for help.
I believe they are more afraid of ﬁre than I am of thunderstorms.
Suddenly the sky lit up with a lightening ﬂash and a loud boom of thunder. The storm was right over us and it began to pour down rain.
I cowered down with fear and everything within me was saying, “Run back inside, run to Mama and Daddy.” But then I saw Spots. He was in danger. He needed help.
Then I remembered the scripture from the Bible that Daddy had read, perfect love chases away all fear.
And in a moment’s time, I thought about Mama and Daddy and their great love for me. And I thought of the Creator and His greater love for me.
How He had brought me to the grassy ﬁeld and kept me alive. How He had led me to my family, healed me from heartworms, and had given me a gift to help Daddy with his seizures.
All of a sudden the fear left. God didn’t watch over me and bring me this far to let me die from a bolt of lightning.
(TO BE CONTINUED)