Surviving the Storm
Mark Lowry had been braving challenges given him from Homecoming readers — this time, Mark shares about living through an adventure sent from God...

"I now know what Noah knew!"
Last April 7, when I went to the lake for the weekend, I had no idea what I was in for. I have a houseboat. It’s really a mobile home on floats. The whole thing is made out of tin, so it’s a wonderful place to sleep when it’s raining.

Well, it started raining around 9 or 10 p.m. I turned off the TV and started listening to the sound of raindrops gently tapping the window as I laid in my bed. (Or, is it “lay” in my bed? Or “lei”? I always get those mixed up.)

Anyway, I was prostrate on the bed (I sure hope I have that one right), thanking God for such a beautiful evening. My houseboat has always been a place of peace and rest. Everyone who has ever stayed there says so.

I was just about to nod off when I heard it coming. At first, it sounded far away. In the distance. Faint. Like the rumbling sound you hear before a thunderclap. But this thunder never clapped.

The sound was coming closer and closer — like a freight train rolling down the tracks. I’ve never seen a train on our lake. Yet, this rumble got louder and louder. My heart began to race. I’d never heard anything like it. My Attention-Deficit- Disordered mind began to spin horrific scenes of my impending doom. I thought Saddam Insane had nuked Nashville and the mushroom cloud was headed in my direction.

Then it hit! Woo Doggies — a tornado!

The boat began to buck and rock, creak and crack and lean sideways. It sounded like the Concorde was landing on the roof. I was thrown from my bed. My life flashed before my eyes. I reached for the bedroom window. I tore back the curtain and saw lightning streak across the night. With each strike, I could see the wind was blowing so hard the rain was flying sideways. Then another flash! The back rope that anchors my boat to the shore had snapped and the other two were barely hanging on.

I thought about jumping out of the boat and running across the lake ... but then I remembered, “I can’t do that!”

The electricity was out, so I stumbled to the front of the boat. I looked in the direction of the pier next to mine. When the lightning flashed, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I saw a black-and-white snapshot of Pier 2, broken, flipped upside down on the bows of several houseboats. Right after each flash of lightning, all was black again. I could see nothing.

This couldn’t be happening. There were people on those boats. Lightning flashed once more and I saw that it was true. Broken legs of the pier stretched into the black sky like the fingers of a monster in a scary movie.

I thought of Cape Fear.

I got on the two-way radio and discovered that everyone was okay — upside down but okay. No lives were lost. Everybody made it through the storm.

The next morning, I went upstairs to check things out.

The wind had shredded the tarp. The chairs, table and loungers were blown to the front of the boat and were piled on top of each other. It looked like an altar call at youth camp.

The houseboat-dwellers met at the store to drink coffee. We do that every morning. Mostly, we tell tall tales and wild fish stories. But, that morning, we talked about the storm. When I told them I thought terrorists had bombed Nashville, the ladies laughed and the men just rolled their eyes and shook their heads.

Going through a tornado was frightening. If I had known in advance I was going to live through it, I would have enjoyed it a lot more.

I think that’s the way it’s going to be when I get to Heaven. I’ll probably look back over my life and think, “If I’d known I was going to live through it, I would have enjoyed it a lot more.”

Well, guess what? I am. And you are, too! Live or die, sink or swim — Death doesn’t win! We’re gonna live through it!

Read the other "Misadventures of Mark" articles:
Mark Goes to First Grade!
Mark Goes Fishing to Uncover a Secret!
Mark's Day at Krispy Kreme!
Mark Helps Vestal Goodman Make A Coconut Cake
Mark Gives Janet Paschal a Whole New Look!
Mark Tries to Expound on the Topic of Art
Mark Shares About His Cool Grandparents!

Click here to see more articles featuring Homecoming artist Mark Lowry.