Last night we were sleeping peacefully, until all of the sudden I heard a loud siren outside. At first I thought I was dreaming, but as the siren got louder I adjusted to where I was and quickly woke, rather shook, John up.
In that moment I realized that I didn't even know what the sirens meant here. Was it a tornado warning like back home? I ran to the window to see if anyone else was stirring as the siren reached a crescendo and then quieted again. And then, it started again. I saw a light go on in the building opposite us. Then, the sirens stopped completely.
As I went back to bed, I couldn't shut my brain off. I realized that I take for granted knowing a culture's warning systems. I need to immediately acquaint myself with a city's emergency system when I arrive, so I know what to do just in case. I did lay there and listen to make sure neighbors weren't rising from bed, but everything was seemingly silent. At the same time though, I became immediately grateful for God's protection while living over here. I can think of several close encounters... and I know that God was there protecting us and guiding us along.
There was something else preventing me from going to bed though. The sound reminded me of WWII movies, and the Anne Frank play I attended as an adolescent. It wasn't the higher pitched tornado warning from back home, but rather an octave (or two) lower. As I laid there, I couldn't help but to allow myself to think about how terrifying it would be to live through a war. I look forward to a day when there will be no war, no tears, no fears, and no pain.