Wind.

When it blows softly and gently on a hot summer day it’s refreshing. When it blows at 125 miles per hour it’s literally breath taking in its awesome fury. How can something so soft and gentle, with no solidness to it, be so forceful and destructive? We have many names for the wind: breeze, blustery wind, gusts, and of course a tornado or a hurricane. The latter two have the numbers 1-5 after them to signify the power of that wind storm.

I began thinking about this subject as I heard this past week that the hurricane season that is now upon us here on the coast could possibly have more hurricanes than previously expected because the El Nino is not as active as it had been.

Whatever we are faced with this season, I trust we will pay attention to the weather forecasts and be prepared for what may come our way, while at the same time praying that none come our way.

A few years ago I saw a billboard that had been erected, using steel beams. They were a twisted pile of scrap metal. That soft, non-solid wind of a tornado had released its fury on those beams of steel. They resisted and ended up being twisted and bent over to the ground for in spite of the fact that they were solid and sturdy steel beams. Instead of straight and erect poles fit for their duty of holding up and displaying the sign, they were reduced to a twisted pile of scrap metal, fit to be removed and recycled.

Simply because they had tried to resist an overwhelming, un-resistible force they became useless scrap. I saw on the cover of a Saturday Evening Post years ago, a picture of a piece of straw driven through a telephone pole. Now you and I are fairly reasonable people and though we’re not physicists, we know that you cannot push by hand or even hammer a piece of straw into a telephone pole. It just won’t work. Then how did that straw penetrate that pole? In the back ground of that picture could be seen the devastation caused by a tornado in the Midwest. The photographer focused on that straw in the telephone pole to illustrate the force and the fury of a monster tornado.

When that weak, malleable, bendable, fragile straw was caught up in the force and the fury of that tornado, not resisting it, but totally yielded to its power, the power and the strength of that tornado literally became the power and the strength of that piece of straw. That weak blade, that could not normally be pushed or hammered into a telephone pole became as a piece of steel in the grip of that tornado. It penetrated that telephone pole without any problem whatsoever. The steel beams resisted the wind and were twisted. The straw yielded to the power of the wind and became a part of its force and fury.

Love is like that. The more it yields, the more powerful it grows. So many times we think love is to be like the steel beams above. It must be so strong, so as to force the love of your loved one to come to your way of thinking and doing. That kind of love will only become twisted and self seeking. A love that yields, that seeks to please, that gives to the other, itself totally and completely will find then and only then, its real power and strength.

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” 1 John 4:11 adds, “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

True love that is a yielded love and not a self seeking, selfish, or a self aggrandizing love, will become a positive wind of such power in our lives as Hurricane Matthew was in a negative sense on the East Coast. Give yourself in love to those loved ones around you. Experience the real power of love! Surrender yourself to the wind of love in your life.

Brad Morris, a retired minister, originally from Georgetown, served as a pastor and then as a missionary in Costa Rica and Ecuador, can be reached at cbrad7777@gmail.com. He has been in ministry for 50 years and a columnist for 17 years, 12 of which have been for the Times.