Just before Superstorm Sandy hit our area, in what was the calm before the storm, I attended a beautiful service in which the following thoughts were read aloud by Rabbi Jeffrey Segelman. I was struck by the beauty of his words and wanted to share his thoughts with you. We are sending our love and prayers to those impacted by this devasting storm.
The Calm Before the Storm . . .
There is something called the “calm before the storm.” I do not know whether it is a scientific reality – whether there really is a “calm before the storm.” It’s possible. Or it might be that when we know a storm is coming and we are playing out all the terrible possibilities in our mind, the present reality just seems very calm.
But in either case – whether real or perceived – there is a calm before the storm.
I sometimes think that we don’t use it properly. We usually use the calm to prepare for the storm. Yes, I imagine that is important. And yet, it would be nice if we could appreciate the calm without images of the storm infecting it. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could take a walk in the calm before the storm, and just enjoy the calmness? In the calm before the storm the wind may be invigorating – not destructive. In the calm before the storm, the drops of rain may be refreshing - not drenching. In the intense quiet of the calm before the storm, we can think, we can close our eyes, breathe in life, and maybe we can hear the still small voice of God.
Life is filled with storms – physical storms, emotional ones, spiritual ones. Sometimes they take us by surprise; but sometimes they don’t, and there is a special – almost holy – calm before the storm. The trick is to not let the fear of the storm destroy the peace of the calm. We can use the calm to give thanks for what we have – even as it may soon blow away. We can use the calm to pray – use the calm to listen – use the calm to love.
Thank you God – for the calm before the storm.
-by Rabbi Jeffrey Segelman