Sunday, July 26, 2009

the night God played His trump card

South Africa's fireworks display lights up the skies over English Bay in Saturday's HSBC Celebration of Light show.
Photograph by:
Sam Leung, The Province
taken from: here

My friend Stacy and I were driving home tonight from the Celebration of Light (fireworks) in Downtown Vancouver, and we saw a poster for that new TV s
how called "The Listener". We decided that putting "The" in front of a title has been intensely overused, and has almost reached "cliche" status. Originally, I was going to call this post "the pinnacle". I decided against it, although I simply can not think of a more fitting description for this evening.

A bit of context before we begin: I am utterly and completely, head over heels and passionately in love with lightning & thunder storms. I love the raw power, the unstoppable movement, the element of surprise and the sheer beauty of it all. While a lightning storm is going on (and those of you present with me this evening can attest to this) I squeal with delight at each flash, strike, or bolt - involuntarily. I get a dramatic surge of soul-deep-energy each time the sky lights up or rumbles dramatically with each ensuing thunder roll. Mystical as it sounds, God becomes incredibly real to me when a storm is in full swing. I am made entirely happy and at peace despite the knowlege that I should probably be more afraid. Can you think of a clearer picture of the intense power of our God? I can't. In short: I LOVE IT.

A bit more context: I am also quite a fan of fireworks, to understate it. They have a way (like many other things, storms included) of making me feel quite small, and I love that feeling. Plus, they're beautiful and sparkly, which obviously adds to the appeal! It's not a question of if I'll go see them, but when are they and where, and when can we leave?

A wee bit more context: I live for the sunset.

Tonight, with a group of new and lovely friends, I made my way down to the Bay to watch South Africa's exhibit. Sometime in the evening, it began to rain. And soon after, we began to see lightning in the sky on our left. We were also graced with one of the most memorably beautiful sunsets I think I've ever seen (and that's a lot, considering I spent 4 years on the praries). Everything about it felt other-worldly; like we had stepped into some alternate universe that didn't know we were there. The rain continued, and the lightning made a slow journey from one side of the bay to the other. Over the course of the evening the entire crowd seemed to go under some kind of covering; whether it was a tarp, an umbrella, a garbage bag, or in some cases: an air mattress. I went against the norm, not because I wanted to go against the norm, but simply because I couldn't sit down. And to put something over my head meant a restricted view of the sky - I kept missing the lightning. Besides, rain is only water, and being wet just means you aren't dry - small price pay, people. Small price to pay.

What you need to know is this: the lightning continued and intensified into the evening, and showed no signs of stopping as the time for fireworks drew nearer. I'm sure that many of the people on that beach were praying for the storm to end. Not me. With a smile on my face I could only repeat: You know what God? Bring it on.

And he certainly did. The fireworks started and the lightning continued, and the sky turned itself into an image I will never forget: a fully bloomed set of fireworks, with a crystal clear lightning bolt running horizontally right through the middle of all that color.

Best night of my life thus far.

A strange glow envelopes Vancouver as lightning strikes during the sunset on Saturday night.
Photograph by: Terry Hogan, for The Province
taken from here

Lightning and fireworks light up the sky simultaneously.
Photograph by: Tyler Ingram, Flickr Creative Commons
taken from here

For a brief moment, lightning upstages the HSBC Celebration of Light in English Bay.
Photograph by: Yury Mikhaylov, for The Province
taken from here

Here's a 10 minute video of the lightning....unbelievably cool

1 comment:

Stacy said...

I'm just finally getting to read back on all your blog entries and I am quite enjoying it. The kicker? I got a shout out...kind of..a mention, I suppose. I'll take it :-).