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July Thunder (Domine non est)

July Thunder (Domine non est)

Psalm 131


My shivering dog draping himself over me

like a quaking blanket, pride abandoned,

driven to anxiety by the sound of thunder

rumbling overhead for most of this week, sometimes

bringing rain, sometimes just a threat. And for all with pets,


this entire week holds more of the same–

the neighborhood will echo with the report of

fireworks and hopefully not gunfire

at least through the sixth of July.


Domine non est

exaltatum cor meum…”


But the sky right now is exactly the color of a bruise,

matching the one inflicted on me as

he pawed me last night to make the insufferable

thunder stop. Stevie Nicks once

famously sang, “Thunder only happens when it’s raining.”


She was wrong. But Kobe believes her. His first owners

left him outside in all weather, and thunder is a memory

of being swept into wind and downpour

with no chance of shelter. Thunder is the memory

of storms and cruelties long past,

the menace fresh, the carelessness vivid.


Don’t we all know the weight of helplessness

when hoping in God is all there is?


So into the basement we descend. I will

sit next to him, the press of my body and

Bach cello suites by Ma in attempted comfort,

notes gliding and bouncing exactly like rain,

the blare of the C string masking the thunder

perhaps enough that he can be quieted and rest.


And sleep will come and breath will ease

for all afraid yet drawn into love’s leeward side,

like a child upon his mother’s shoulder

asleep on a damp cheek,

sliding gratefully into open-hearted trust,

elusive too often for the proud and haughty self

I too often wear like armor.


I wait upon you gratefully, O Mothering God,

and rest upon you as the storms

within and without subside.

I have no need to walk in mighty matters

for the reward in my soul

is your abundant lovingkindness and mercy–

more than enough.


The Rev. Leslie Scoopmire is a writer, musician, and a priest in the Diocese of Missouri. She is rector of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Ellisville, MO.  She posts daily prayers, meditations, and sermons at her blog Abiding In Hope, and collects spiritual writings and images at Poems, Psalms, and Prayers.


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