Tom and Judy were playing at a friend's house on the next block over from their house. Their older brother, Paul, was playing nearby when a bad storm came up really fast. The air made everything around them look green, and the wind was blowing really hard. Paul went to Tom and Judy and said, "We need to get home fast!" Paul told them to take the long way home, which was about three times farther. That didn't make sense to Judy at all. Then she looked up and saw the black sky that was moving toward them. Paul said they should run away from it, so they did. One of Judy's shoes fell off. As she stopped to pick it up, Paul told her to keep going and not to look back.
They ran very fast. Paul could have run faster than Tom and Judy, but he stayed behind them all the way home, encouraging them to keep going. Two trees fell behind them just after they'd passed by. Branches dropped around them, and the wind was hard against Judy's face. They got home safely. And Judy was pleased when Paul handed her the shoe she had lost.
The news reported that the storm was actually the tail of a tornado. They were all glad to learn that no one in the area was hurt and that no homes were destroyed.
Judy remembers that she had been afraid at first, but soon after they started to run, she wasn't scared any more. She had been learning about God in a Christian Science Sunday School, and she knew the peace she felt inside was because she was sure God could keep them safe. And He did.
That helped Judy several years later when her little brother, David, woke her in the middle of the night. They'd heard weather reports that hurricane winds were soon to hit along the East Coast and that lots of damage and trouble would result. The storm was not expected to come near them, but David was worried about the other people. He asked Judy how he could pray to help the people on the East Coast. Judy told him about her earlier experience, and together, they came up with these three things to pray about:
1. The Bible says, "God is love" (I John 4:16). Because God is Love, David and Judy knew they could trust Him to protect everyone. The power of Love is greater than the storm and the fear of the storm.
When Judy was running from the storm years earlier, Paul had told her to keep going and not look back. That's the way it is in the face of scary things – weather and otherwise. Looking to Love takes away the fear just as the Bible says, "Perfect love casteth out fear" (I John 4:18).
2. Even when things look really bad, God is always there to help. They laughed when they thought, "God doesn't go to sleep or go on vacation. He's not too busy helping someone else when we need help. No one has to wait in a line for God's help until it's their turn."
3. God will help everyone. God is our Father, as explained in the Lord's Prayer. Being "our" Father means the power of Love is always available to everyone, no matter where they are or who they are, what they're doing or what they did before.
David and Judy didn't know anyone on the East Coast. But they were sure that because God is everywhere, their prayers would help even people they didn't know and who didn't even know they were praying. David remembered a line from a poem by the Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy: "Keep Thou my child on upward wing tonight" ("Poems," p. 4). With that idea, they went back to bed and they both slept well.
The next morning, David woke early and ran to get the newspaper. The front-page story was about the storm that never arrived. Just before hitting the coast, it had changed direction and unexpectedly went out to sea. They knew that sometimes that happens to storms, but they were glad they'd prayed and felt deep inside that their prayers and the prayers of many others had helped make a difference.