May 31 – Unfair!

I left for the office early Thursday morning. The sky was gray with the dawn’s early light, but a strange darkness filled the street as I wound my way out of Windy Bush, the development where we live, onto Maple Avenue. Our power had gone out during Wednesday evening’s storms and, despite PECO’s assurances to the contrary, it was still out ten hours later.

But it wasn’t out everywhere. In fact, it seemed as if it was out nowhere but our little development.  141 customers, the PECO outage alert told us.

A bright and brilliant green light welcomed me to Maple Avenue.  An “open” sign blinked happily in the window of Dunkin Donuts.  The cheery glow of streetlights cut the gray darkness of the morning as I drove down Maple Avenue toward the borough. Porch lights were on at some houses and light shined through the windows of early risers getting ready for work or school.  The rest of the world was oblivious to the dark pall draped over the lives of 141 of us still in the bleak darkness of our power outage.

Our power outage lasted 25 hours. No lights. No stove. No Wi-Fi! Somehow, we managed. We leased some space in a church refrigerator and brought cartons of milk and crates of eggs to the church for safe keeping.  No meeting Thursday night, but we were at the church nevertheless – streaming Episode 5 of “Shetland” to the computer in my office.

We survived, but it seemed so unfair.  While all the world went about its business with nary a thought for the 141 of us so burdened by a power outage, I felt a sense of rage at the injustice of it all.  Someone, something, should be held to account.  PECO? The thunder gods? Fate itself?

“Fret not yourself, it tends only to evil,” the psalmist writes. But did he know about “estimated restore” times being moved back by four hours time and time again?

The fact of the matter is, most of Langhorne and Middletown Township had power on Thursday morning.  There were some others who joined our hearty band of 141 survivors Wednesday night and all day Thursday, but we were the few, we happy few, we band of brothers.  Perhaps a day will come when some will hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that managed with us upon Saint PECO’s day.

The life of my mind can be so petty.

While we were streaming the latest episode of “Shetland” to my office computer (such a small screen!), others in our little town were staring blankly into a 65-inch screen barely noticing the inanity of “The Big Bang Theory” for their worry about health or employment or family.  While we brushed our teeth by candlelight, others were facing another night of tossing and turning, the what ifs of tomorrow morning tormenting their hearts and minds.

We did not deserve to be among the 141 who lost electricity for 25 hours in mild temperatures at the end of May while most of our fellow residents barely noticed a flick in the lights Wednesday evening. But neither do we deserve to be among those who have been called out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).

By the way back, in February Jess Cropsey wrote about how they manage in Burundi. A little tougher than our 25 hours in late May.

See you Sunday as we worship the One who calls us out of darkness into his marvelous light.