Our Worst Storms

Terry Walton


Our Worst Storms

I Was Thinking…

What is the worst storm you’ve ever experienced?  Some have been in hurricanes and tornadoes (as was the case in South Georgia this weekend).  Others have been in blizzards and dust storms.  My worst storm would have to be the day I was struck by lightning (now I know what you’re thinking… “that explains why Terry is a little off center”).  One week in July of 1993 I was a “Summit Guide” at Camp Glisson.  My responsibility was to the 5th and 6thgraders that week. During that week I received a call from then Director of Camp Glisson, Bob Cagle, on the camp telephone which I returned while the campers were eating lunch.  Then “Boom” lightning struck the telephone pole and through the phone my life lit up (literally!).

I don’t remember too much that occurred within the next several minutes only to say that camp counselors and campers jumped into action and off to the hospital I went.  I was fine.  I only experienced ringing in the ears and a bit of shock in the system.  I thank God I had survived such a traumatic event. 

Some say we live in ‘stormy’ times.  The nation seems to be in the midst of a great divide.  The church is in the midst of divisive conversations filling the landscape with uncertainty.  But I say what I heard Bishop Lawson Bryant say recently “Don’t let the storm be the story!”  His comment made me think of a storm of biblical proportions.  In Mark’s Gospel we remember a storm.  However, what makes the story of Mark 4 a memorable storm is that Jesus “rebuked the wind, and said to the sea “Peace! Be Still!”  Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm.”(V. 39).  The storm is NOT the story.  The handling of the storm by Jesus IS the story.

While being struck by lightning is a memorable event, the way counselors, hospital personnel, and 5th and 6th grade kids responded was the memorable story.  It was their action, compassion and skill that made the difference in my storm.  I am grateful to God and to them…they are the story!

Storms come and go…the story is found in our response and our focus.  Do you notice that after the worst of storms the story is more about how people pull together and accomplish unbelievable things while the storm itself fades in our memories?  A storm may bring a story but it is NOT the story.

Do we still believe in a Jesus who can calm storms?  Or do we now believe the storms are too much even for Jesus?  I often say to myself as well as to others “God is either God or God is not God…which do we believe?”

Always Thinking,


P.S. For those wishing to make a monetary gift to South Georgia Tornado Relief you may send your gift to the Conference Office marked Advance #3743.  

Mission Work Teams information will be available soon on the conference website.

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