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“Mama, I’m scared! I don’t like thunder busters!”

“Molly, calm down, you know it will soon pass and the noise will stop.” Susan tried to soothe the little four-year-old.

The thunder was very close and loud, seeming to shake the whole house.

“Won’t it ever stop? I don’t like the thunder busters either.”

She stepped over to the big picture window to peek around the edge of the drapes. The sky was black with thick, churning clouds. Lightning bolted to the ground as the thunder popped and rolled. The lights flickered a few times, then settled down again. “It surely hit something that time, “

Whipping around on her heel, Susan called to her eldest son, “Tim!”

“Yeah, Mom?”

“Tim, you and Zach come on down here with us. The electricity is liable to go anytime, and I don’t want anyone wandering around in the dark.”

“Aw, Ma, do I have to? I'm busy up here."

“And, Tim, turn the computer off.”

Shoot! "Okay. I’m coming. Zach, come on; we have to go downstairs.  Zach? Mom, Zach won’t answer me.”

“Zach! You come here this instant!” Susan felt herself becoming edgy. She didn’t want to frighten the kids, so she tried to calm herself by taking a deep breath, then another.

“Molly, honey, stay here while I go up to get Zach, okay? Tim, come and stay with Molly.”

The skinny, twelve-year-old shambled down the stairs and into the kitchen. Dropping onto a chair, he looked at his sister. He saw her brown eyes brim with tears, which streamed down her cheeks.

“Hey, Molly Girl, you scared? You don’t need to be scared. The thunder busters won’t hurt you; it’s only noise.” He said, as another loud boom shook the house.

Tim could hear Mom still calling for Zach.

“Wow! Did you hear that, Molly, didn’t it sound like drums? Why don’t we pretend there’s a parade going right in front of our house, and they have great big, giant drums? Hey, I know what, let’s make some hot chocolate, okay? You get the milk out of the fridge, and I’ll get a pan. Do we have any marshmallows? We can pretend we are listening to a band in the parade.”

“I don’t like drums anymore, Tim,” sobbed Molly, cautiously moving toward the refrigerator while keeping her eyes on the windows. A sudden flash of lightning caused her to jump. "Timmy! Close the shades. It’s coming in! Where's Mommy? I want Mommy to come.”

Tim dug through a drawer and found some large wooden spoons. “Look, you can beat on a drum too, beat really hard, as loud as you can.” He handed her the spoons and found a cardboard box to use as a drum.

Molly bravely tore into the game, determined to drown out the noise of the thunder. Tim turned the radio on and twisted the volume high. It helped to distract Molly and she soon began to enjoy herself, forgetting the storm.

"Tim! I can't find Zach up here, look around down there; maybe he went to the basement."

Try as he might, Tim couldn't get rid of the tight fluttering in his stomach. He didn't like the sound of Mama's voice--she was scared. "Darn it, Zach! Where are you?"

He opened the door to the basement and called.
"Zach? If you're down there, you better get up here fast. Mom's coming after you!"
Hearing nothing, he turned back to Molly

“The chocolate's ready, Molly Girl. Let’s go see where Mom and Zach are before it gets cold.”

“Zach? Where are you?" Tim called out into the dim living-room as he headed toward the stairs. The lights flickered again when they were half-way up the stairs.

“Tim, I can’t find Zach!”

“I looked downstairs. Aw, he’s probably just hiding under his bed.”

"No. He isn't." Susan whispered.

“Mommy, don't cry, I know where he hides sometimes.” Molly said, scampering down the hall toward the last room. “In there,” she pointed, “in the closet.”

Susan opened the door to the storage room and hurried to the closet, swinging the door back so it banged against the wall. There, sitting on the floor, was six-year-old Zach with an open phone book in his lap. Holding a flashlight in one hand, he was searching urgently through the book. On his face was a frown of desperate concentration. 

Susan was so relieved all she could do was let out the long breath she didn't know she'd been holding. “Zach, what are you doing?”

“I’m trying to find God’s phone number, I want to tell him we got enough rain, and I don’t like the thunder busters.”

Tim began to guffaw, but catching the look from his mother, quickly swallowed it.

“Zach, honey, you don’t need a phone number to talk to God. You can talk to him whenever you want to. Come on, let’s go downstairs now.”

“We made hot chocolate, Mama, and I was playing drums.”

“You guys made hot chocolate? Wonderful! Come on, Zach, let’s go.”

The storm passed as they entered the bright kitchen Susan reached for the knob on the radio just as the lights went out.

Laying the lit flashlight in the middle of the table, Zach said, “You’re right, Mama. I didn’t need the phone, did I? God heard me in my head.”

“Yes, Zach, I think He heard all of us.”

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