“The trouble with weather forecasting is that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.” Patrick Young
Wondering about the weather – June 1 and gumball-sized hail pelted me in my deck herbarium yesterday, and Baystaters were all under a tornado warning until 8:00pm. A last blast of intense weather barreled in just after 8:00 p.m. as I drove home. The sky was a moldy orange confusion, neither color natural for a New England sky. A mile or less from my home, I drove by Rogers Spring Hill Farm just as all the cows panicked and ran. I slowed enough to try to see where they were headed and noticed it was neither to the barn nor the trough; they just all wanted to get away, from something. Unnerved I may have increased my car’s speed beyond the legal limit in the sprint home. Plants, animals, people needed tending (not necessarily in that order).
Have you ever listened to an interview with a tornado victim? They almost always say the same thing: “it sounded like a freight train coming”. And last night as I got out of the car, right after watching the cows flee, and seeing that wacko sky, I heard the train. I literally felt the blood drain from my innards and rush to my limbs, poised to flee. Fortunately for me, enough blood remained in my brain that I actually got it working again and realized it was in fact a freight train; we live fairly close to the tracks.
The late news broadcast that seven tornadoes skipped about thrashing Massachusetts. That damage was severe and at least four lives were lost. Governor Deval Patrick interrupted the Stanley Cup finals to declare a state of emergency, and our team is in contention. This was serious and scary.
My friend, Casey Holt, posted about the fireworks in the New Hampshire sky on Facebook last night:
“Most amazing display of lightning I have ever seen, over south Nashua NH right now. Strike after strike after strike, in the clouds. Little or no thunder heard. Awesome!” On Casey’s horizon was the Massachusetts sky.
The news informed me that California was also plagued by tornadoes. And the Weather Channel noted that this year has already been designated “the Year of the Urban Tornado”. Montana, the Dakotas and Nebraska are in danger as the Missouri River swells well beyond its banks. The news shifted focus beyond our country to reveal that there is significant previously unreported damage to the nuclear reactors in Japan following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Chatting with my tennis partner right after the bovine flash mob, we mostly joked about whether this really could be the beginning of the end, and whether poor misguided and ridiculed Harold Camping could still get credit for predicting the devastation if it were to come to pass “soon”. I mean, should we cut him some slack for being off only a couple of weeks in the course of a millennium? That does fall within the acceptable margin of error, doesn’t it? And who would be left to give him that credit? We both agreed, while fully cognizant of the fact that being judgmental is wrong, that Camping definitely would be here to receive the credit after the Rapture. And what kind of arrogance made him feel he could claim to know that which according to the Bible (the same Bible he assures us he dedicated his life to decoding), is not ours to know?
“At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. … No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (NIV)
It’s understood that the Bible can be difficult to interpret at times, but this passage is pretty straight forward and clearly lacks an ending asterisk that, if intended, could have identified one exception – Harold Camping. So I’m guessing old Hal has some issues wanting to be super special in God’s eye and above average in everyone else’s.
“What’s the harm?” you may ask, “nobody sane really took him seriously”. Well according to a story I read on Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/22/us-apocalypse-prediction-idUSTRE74I3KS20110522 and other sources, pregnant women gave up their homes and savings, men quit their jobs, sold their property and spent their “final” months buying ad time and pleading with the world to pay attention to this charlatan and get right with God. And the ironic end result is that even more people think Christians are crackpots, because of this one.
But, and this is the little hope I found left in Camping’s personal Pandora’s Box of Evils, it could all be wonderful if their campaign jump starts the economic recovery. Ad sales were up (certainly billboards!), new items were marketed – at the Newburyport Springfest, I saw a fabulous t-shirt that said “I survived the Rapture – twice”. And people held rapture parties which I am sure consisted of many a purchased earthly delight. An enterprising Atheist and his team of blasphemers started a company (Eternal Earth-Bound Pets) offering to care for your pets left behind, because they intend to be here, too. For $135 per pet, $20 for each additional pet (PayPal accepted) your animal will be cared for in your absence as long as the Rapture takes place within 10 years of your confirmed payment. http://eternal-earthbound-pets.com/.
Or maybe people will do as I did and contemplate what each would do with so little time left. How we could identify what’s important; how we would enjoy it; and how we would live our daily lives? And maybe in spite of one limp, lame, self-proclaimed, twice-failed “profit/prophet”, we would all be nicer to each other, animals and the planet, and stave off the pending doom.
Start being nicer to each other, today, support our neighbors by donating to the American Red Cross of Massachusetts to help the victims of the Mass tornadoes:
Donate online at: http://redcross.org
By phone: 1-800-RED-CROSS.
By text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to send the single amount of $10 to the organization. Note that the charge will appear on your mobile phone bill. The Red Cross does not at this moment need volunteers or donated “items” to help with this specific disaster.
©2011 by Alison Colby-Campbell