There are forces in nature that we do not understand. In all of God's creation the most intriguing - and frightening - element might be wind.
I don't even know how to explain it to you. It can't be seen... until it acts on something else, like a tree (which bends in it). When it hits water, wind stirs it up and creates towers of water called waves. When there's only a little bit of wind, water just makes ripples, tiny waves.
Wind can be warm or cold. It can be wet-feeling or dry. It seems to come out of nowhere a lot of the time. One minute it's perfectly calm, and the next - a blast of wind is pushing you over. Usually this happens right before a thunderstorm. We've been having a lot of those lately.
When wind from one direction in the sky swirls together with wind from another direction, it makes what is called a tornado. Remember the funnel-shaped water thing we saw in the bathtub when the water was draining? That's what a tornado looks like. But tornadoes are in the sky, but near the ground, not way up high like a cloud.
There have been so many powerful tornadoes sweeping across the lower part of the Midwest this past week. The wind inside a tornado is so strong that it pulled houses apart and threw full-size cars around in the air like they were toys. So many people lost their homes; many people lost their lives.
I've thought about living in the near-south, in Oklahoma or Kentucky. Those states, and Missouri, Kansas and Alabama, were among the hardest hit. Tonight in our bedtime prayers we will ask God to be present to those people, who have been struck by a force they could neither predict or prevent. God, on the other hand, is steadfast and predictable in His love for His creation. I hope that is a comfort to the poor families that were hit.