Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Holy City and thunderstorms

I remember as a child being mesmerized, almost frightened by the sound of a really good rainstorm outside. I usually felt unsettled by a lightening flash through the windows followed by a crashing thunder. Some good family friends of ours had their house burned to the ground due to lightening when I was young. For many years it affected how I felt during a thunderstorm. I remember doing what most kids probably do - I would stand at the window to see if I could capture what the wind and rain were doing to my little outside world. But it was always hard to see the whole of a storm through one little window.

Today's thunderstorm was such a contrast to those thoughts and feelings I had as a child.

During sacrament service every week, we have the privilege of looking out huge panoramic windows that overlook the Old City while we renew our sacred covenants. These windows go from ceiling to floor, from one side of the auditorium to the other. They even wrap around both sides so you're surrounded by the bright green shrubbery and trees that decorate the outside corridors. It's easy to imagine the Savior once walking in old Jerusalem when you have a full view of it from where you sit.

The musical numbers today were amazing, and the talks brought in the Spirit. Throughout the meeting we heard one thunder crash after another, and saw the pouring rain drench the thirsty city. I never thought something could look so gray and wet, and so beautiful at the same time.

Then came the closing song, Nearer My God to Thee, and we sang all five amazing verses. The Spirit continued to fill the room as much as the rain filled the puddles outside.....

"Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down. Darkness be over me, my rest a stone. Yet in my dreams I'd be, Nearer, my God to thee...."

The further we got into the song, the louder we sang, and the harder it rained outside. The roaring thunder only heightened our sense of the power of God.

"Or if, on joyful wing, cleaving the sky. Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I fly. Still all my song shall be, Nearer, my God to thee, Nearer, my God to thee, Nearer to thee!"
It was almost as if the sky sensed the presence of the Spirit of God in such a holy place. Many of us wiped away the tears. The majesty of the storm, coupled with the majesty of the Holy Ghost, the very member of the Godhead, was enough to make a heart burst. I wouldn't have been more sure of the reality of my Savior in that moment if He were standing right in front of me.


Dad said...

Wow, how incredibly inspiring. Dad

Devon said...

Hi Amy! I just wanted to say thank you for posting on my blog and for signing the petition! And for the record, I am supporting the souk spelling with a k--in French that's how they spell it!

Kristin Aiello said...

Amy, thank you for sharing your amazing stories. Most of us will never make it over there to see what you get to see, but you paint a picture with such amazing words. You write it like we are reading a book with a feeling that we are there with you. Thank you.

Megan said...

What a beautiful testimony. Thanks for sharing.

Jeanne said...

Amy, I found your blog via the LDS board on BBC. I have to tell you that I LOVE the spirit I feel when I read your blog. I would LOVE to go to Jerusalem one day.

How amazing for your family to experience this!

I'll be coming back for keep posting your amazing thoughts!