Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The REAL Show

The night was spectacular.

After a hot, hot day, the evening air felt just right, still plenty warm on the lake at ten o’clock. Boats had gathered in the wide top of Coeur d’Alene Lake, facing the resort, awaiting fireworks that would be shot off barges just past the docks. In our bay families had gathered up and down the shoreline, sending up their own fireworks bought down the road from the Indian reservation. We shot off plenty of our own, my son aiming Roman candles to skip across the water like pink stones before exploding.

As the sky darkened we climbed into the boat and headed the short distance toward the barges.

While we waited for the show, we ate strawberry shortcake with whip cream. Definitely better on the water.

Mark aimed our boat facing the resort—north. But behind the hills to the west is where the real show started.

We noticed it before the fireworks began. At first I thought it was distant fireworks in some other town, lighting the clouds in that part of the sky. But then it grew in intensity. The low-slung clouds behind those mountains began to pulse with diffused lightning.

At the resort the fireworks began, exploding blue, green, white, amber in the sky. The rippling water reflected each color, boats honking their horns and folks whooping their excitement that another year had passed and here we were again on July 4th, amazed at the pyrotechnics.

After the fifth firework, the first lightning bolt jagged through the west. Horizontal. Cleaving the sky across the top of the hills, fibrillating the clouds a milky white.

“You want fireworks?” God said. “Watch this.”

My head turned from the fireworks to His show.

For the next ten to fifteen minutes, through the entire fireworks bonanza, my head swiveled back and forth, watching the colors explode, watching the lightning jag. My daughter and her friend shrieked at each new lightning bolt, until they turned from the fireworks to focus completely on nature. My daughter trained her camera on the mountains, gleeing over each photo she caught of a bolt.

The fireworks whistled and pop-popped and burst, their echoes loud against low hills to the east and booming like cannons against the far northern hills. Meanwhile God kept up His show, moving it slowly north. I kept swiveling back and forth, trying to catch it all. The fireworks finale was awesome, filling the sky with every color of the rainbow. As the echoes finally faded, catcalls of appreciation and wonder echoed across the water from the boats.

The lightning played on.

Now as I sit in our great room writing this post, facing north toward the shimmering lights of town across the water, neighbors around the bay shoot off fireworks from all directions. And straight ahead, God’s show sears the sky. This post is writing slowly because I can hardly keep my eyes on the computer screen, so constant are the sights outside. The lightning continues to outshine all else.

The heavens are telling of the glory of God,
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Day to day pours forth speech,
Night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words.
Their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out to all the earth,
And their utterance to the end of the world.

Psalm 19

Scenes and Beans is live today! Please hop over to read Bailey’s introductory post. She just might finish the thing if the rest of the rambunctious crew at Java Joint will leave her alone. Your comments (playing along with the fiction of the blog) are most welcome.


Becky said...

Thanks for this post, Brandilyn. What a great reminder that God's creation outshines anything that Mankind can put together. The psalm was a perfect exclamation point.

Ane Mulligan said...

I've seen one Idaho light show put on by God. Spectacular. When we moved to Georgia we also had some great lightning displays. I thought God did them for my benefit - kind of a welcome. :o) Hard to do much else that watch. I remember we sat like the Clampetts on the sofa facing the paladian windows - just watching. I'll never forget it.

Wayne Scott said...

Brandilyn, your holiday sounds very much like my own. My family spent the 4th in Estes Park, CO. They shoot fireworks off over the lake there, too. We watch from my in-laws' deck every year. This year was overcast, and for once there wasn't a single gust of wind to chill the 8,000-foot air. The firework echoes crackled off the faces of the Rocky Mountains surrounding Estes. The difference is that God stopped his display about 30 minutes before the man-made fireworks, then picked his lightning back up a few hours later. :)

Bonnie Calhoun said...

What a delightful evening you had. Because of our recent disasters, there were no celebrations in this part of the state. So I join yours vicariously!

CHickey said...

I've from the South, but I think God's best lightening work is done here of the Phoenix desert. You've got to experience the monsoon to know what I mean.

Wayne Scott said...

Chickey, you could be right - I experienced the monsoon season just outside Santa Fe several years ago. The contrast between the dark, wet skies and the desert terrain being lit up by the lightning is breathtaking.

Shannon said...

Oh, Brandilyn, this was just beautiful!!!