A bird’s eye view of Hurricane Irene

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

       Personally, I am not a fan of Meteorologists. They yield way too much power from my perspective. Case in point: Hurricane Irene. They warned us she was coming. They used words that struck fear in my heart. Words like “dangerous” and “deadly”. Epically biblical by my estimate. Now, when I hear those words on the news, I usually am not seeing our tiny little state on the map being highlighted. Well that wasn’t the case this time. After all when you live in the smallest state in the United States of America, you rarely find yourself on the news. Well except occasionally for the theatrical political climate . But this time, as I drove by one of my routine dog walking places, there stood one of the Weather Channel’s reporters. I actually didn’t think much about it because it hadn’t sunk in yet. The potential for “death and destruction” that is. But as I walked into my living room, I did a double take as I saw my hubby had on the TV, and there it was looking back at me…the end of our road with Mr. Weather Channel reporting live.

Enter fear. Exit faith. Pause. Rewind. Stop.

Sea Wall-Narragansett, RI

  My God is a faithful teacher. So often I come to the end of my road and I find my faith is being overshadowed by fear. Subtle. This, though was not so subtle. This was the kind of fear that when the sweet, young Weather Woman said “get your batteries, water and candles- and don’t forget to the fill the bathtub!” I actually ran out to the local Benny’s and purchased every D battery I could get my sweaty, little palms on. I finally had to shut off the Weather Channel. Those Meteorologists were wielding doom and gloom and I was feeling fearful. Even as I stood in line, a woman approached holding masking tape, to “tape the windows”. What was my response? I got me some tape! You bet I did! I was in frenzy mode by now. I hit the market, the drug store, the bakery and of course the three closest beaches to see for myself what was going on. All seemed amazingly calm contrasted to my inner , growing turmoil. Where was my faith? It was wrestling with fear and I felt like a crazy Mr. Boppy, clown. Remember the kind filled with air, that you punch and it pops back up so you can punch it again?
God spoke to me in a moment. As I watched the birds continue to feed, the gusts of wind began to grow strong. They would come and go, inconsistently, hinting at the strength to come. The birds seemed unfazed. I decided to watch the birds and weather changes from our sheltered cement patio. Suddenly the wind grew alarmingly strong and the rain came with intensity. The birds scattered for shelter in trees and shrubs. This all happened before I even opened the screened door. What I saw blessed me and spoke to my heart, clearly, about the One who keeps me sheltered from, in and through the storms of life. As I looked at the birds who had found their way into the circular, carved out havens, I felt a sense of peace settle over me. God says, He cares about these little guys. How much more does He care for me? How much more does He care for you?
I see this little bird as a messenger. You see this little bird reminded me that I have a safe place, a true Shelter from the storm. And his small, sweet presence was just the right picture I needed to hold onto to escape the verbal onslaught from Mr. and Ms. Meteorologist and to stand firm in the face of the storm (and my fear) with a peace and confidence in the God who speaks to the seas and the waves and holds all things together by the power of his Name. The name that is above every name.
 I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
~Psalm 34:4
I long for the day when my faith is greater than all of my fears and when fear is but a distant recollection in mind.

Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. (NLT)

Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is the author of Journaling for Discovery and Delight. Her writing is included in several anthologies and her poems have been included in the Wickford Poetry and Art Exhibit and Books. Dawn is currently working on her next book. Inquiries at

4 thoughts on “Sheltered

  1. Dawn, your words and accompanying pictures are absolutely beautiful. We live in NJ and as I read your story, I thought about the panic I felt rising as I went from store to store (and finding that by Friday morning, there wasn't a C or D battery to be found anywhere in our area) and as I helped my husband rig up some things, outside and inside, to keep our basement from flooding. I remember my 14 year old daughter, who was helping us, looking at me fearfully and asking, 'Mom, are we going to lose our house? Or die?' It was a rough moment, and all I could do was tell her that I didn't know, but we were doing all we physically could to prepare and to remember that we were totally in God's hands. I prayed a lot that weekend, remembering verses from Psalms that referred to God as our refuge, our fortress, our shelter. And He proved to be all of those for us. It's so easy to morph right into panic mode at times like these, forgetting that if God takes care of the birds of the air, He will surely take care of us, who are worth more than many sparrows to Him. Thanks so much for this post, Dawn.


  2. What a wonderful reminder… Thank you! I have always liked that verse.Btw, I always find it annoying when people blame the weather man/woman for the weather. Like they have any control over it! lol Thankfully, we know Who is REALLY in control. 🙂


  3. You were lucky to have found the d batteries, I thought my sister bought them all out. The rest that came from that storm was very nice. Although I was happy to get the phone and Internet back. The Lord is faithful. Why is it so hard to trust and remember that in times of crisis. He is so wonderful, that He will show just how intimate his care really is.


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