Chuck Terrill: Some light from Grannie’s life 

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

It happened again, the other evening.

The electricity was off, again. By the light of our smart phones, we fumbled around for the candles. In the candlelight, there was nothing to do but sit, and wait for the lights to come on again. 


What a bother! Every clock in the house would need to be reset, every household appliance would begin its infernal blinking. The meat in the freezer might thaw out, and horror of horrors, there would be no television to entertain us! 

All our modern technology had been brought low by one, old-fashioned Missouri thunderstorm.   

Back a few years, on our grandparents’ farm, the lack of electricity wouldn’t have made any difference. The ornately carved wall clock had come from Germany, and you didn’t have to plug it in. Every week, Grandma would simply take a big brass key and wind it up again.   

And there wasn’t an alarm clock to be seen, anywhere in the house. I guess if the rooster didn’t crow, or the cows forgot to “moo” for their milking, or the sun failed to come up, it would be a good excuse for sleeping in. There wasn’t any hurry, anyway.

Grandma kept her butter, milk and eggs in a cold rushing creek. There weren’t any light bulbs to burn out, just a few reliable kerosene lamps to refuel. No electricity. No television. No radio, and no telephone. No microwave oven. You could hear the chickens clucking and the birds singing. There were no time saving devices, yet, we enjoyed long, quiet evenings, an old porch swing, conversation and some favorite hymns to sing.   

There was plenty of opportunity to just sit, and rest, and listen. There was ample time for a country widow to meditate on God’s goodness. There was more than enough time to watch God’s thunderstorms roll by. 

The lights came back on in our house, and the T.V., too. “Sixty Minutes is on,” my wife said. “Aren’t you going to watch it?” 

“I don’t think so,” I said. “I think I’ll sit here just a little while longer.”

“Listen closely to the thunder of His voice, and the rumbling that goes out from His mouth. Under the whole heaven He lets it loose, and His lightning to the ends of the earth. After it, His voice roars; He thunders with His majestic voice; and He does not restrain His lightnings when His voice is heard. God thunders with the wind of His voice, wondrously, doing great things that we cannot comprehend” (Job 37:2-5). 

Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 417-847-2460.