Michael T. Dolan

Writings, Reflections, and Commentaries

Faith and thunder

Posted on | August 24, 2005 | No Comments

“Turn off the thunder, Dad! Turn off the thunder!”

A toddler’s first experiences of a thunder storm are an exercise in faith. Deafening noises crash outside, some rumbling in the distance, others seemingly crashing right outside the window.

Now is not the time for meteorological lessons explaining the nature of warring cold and warm fronts. Without the scientific knowledge, a child cannot comprehend thunder in any real way. Thus, it is all the more frightening.

Holding my child in the dark and looking at her by the flash of a lightening strike, her body is shaking, her lips a quiver.

What to say?

“It’s okay. Daddy has you.”

Or we try to explain it away.

“The angels are bowling.”

Or we try to have our child join in the game.

“Say BOOM back to the thunder!”

None of which help a quivering child. But a child has more faith than most, and so I repeat:

“Daddy has you. It’s okay.”

It doesn’t explain the thunder away, but it is enough.

With faith, the child lies back in her crib, the thunder rumbling out of town.

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