In his new book, Jesus, My Father, the CIA and Me: A Memoir of Sorts, Ian Cron writes about falling through a storm cloud. I’ve not read the book yet but did read this snippet from chapter 15 on a blog that I follow.
In 1959, Lieutenant Colonel William Rankin was flying his supersonic jet at forty-eight thousand feet when it suffered a catastrophic engine failure. He was forced to eject from his aircraft over a cumulonimbus—a gigantic storm cloud that causes even seasoned pilots to go weak in the knees.
“You’ve seen one. When fully mature, the cumulonimbus is a cauliflower-shaped cloud with billowy towers and turrets that can reach altitudes of seventy-five thousand feet. On its peak sits its distinct anvil-shaped top. When a group of cumulonimbus clouds get together, they form menacing supercells. You don’t want to attend the party unless you are one of those supernaturally stupid people on the TV show Storm Chasers.
“Colonel Rankin is the only man to fall through the ‘king of clouds’ and live to tell the tale. In the center of the cloud Rankin was met by rising air blasts that shot him heavenward, then hurled toward earth by brutal downdrafts. Large hailstones at the mercy of the same forces pummeled the helpless pilot. Bolts of lightning passed frighteningly close, followed by thunder so fierce than Rankin claims he felt it more in his body than his ears.
“‘This was nature’s bedlam,’ he said, ‘an ugly black cage of screaming, violent, lunatics … beating me with big flat sticks, roaring at me, screeching, trying to crush me or rip me with their hands.’
“That is what 1986 felt like to me.”
Every been there? Are you there now? It hits all of us at one time or another. A period of life when events toss us around like a free-falling pilot in a storm cloud. Remember…
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. ~ Psalm 46:1