Along with most everyone else I have been watching/reading the news reports of the Oklahoma tornado that killed 24 people, including 9 children (as of Tuesday evening). As I watch the stories, I find myself shaking my head in disbelief at the devastation. Brian Williams of NBC News, called it “the saddest place on earth.” I agree. The Plaza Towers Elementary School was in their final week of classes. Sixth grade graduation was scheduled for Tuesday evening.
The question of why is in the back of our minds. And as always, there are no logical answers that we could comprehend. But still we ask the question. Earlier today I heard Laura Story’s song, Blessings, (Watch and listen on You Tube) and it caused me to rephrase my question. Instead of why the tornado, I asked What if . . . ? What if GOD allowed this tornado and as a result we saw
– The courage of people like the teachers who covered their students with their own bodies. “The teachers saved our lives.” – Damian Britton, student at Plaza Towers Elementary School
– How people care. Watch over the next year or so as caravans of people travel to Moore, OK to help clean up and rebuild. People are already showing up. They are stepping in and giving and volunteering and praying. Millions of dollars have already been pledged to pay for the damages. The compassion is evident.
– That a better name for first responders(and teachers) would be heroes. Watch the firemen and National Guard and policemen frantically searching for the missing or the dead. Watch the EMT shedding tears as he told of making sure a child was not alone when he breathed his last breath.
– Miracles. Did you see the devastation of a childcare center where Jana Ketchie’s sons stayed? After the tornado passed, Jana was unable to go there or even call. It was more than an hour later when she found her sons, Brayden and Grayson, at the E.R. She was relieved. GOD had indeed intervened in that situation and saved her sons. It was one of many miracles.
Finally, what if GOD allowed this tornado to remind us that this is not our home. A day is coming when no more tornadoes will take any lives and parents will not bury their children. We will no longer live in fear of bad weather or bad people. There will be no more death, no more sorrow, no more pain. All of that will be a fading memory one day. But until then we walk together through life and all that comes with it.
What if GOD allowed the tornado to remind us of all these things and more? Because isn’t that exactly what happened?
Tonight when we lay our heads on the pillow, we will pray with compassion for the families who lost loved ones. Their tragedies will linger for a very long time. And we will thank GOD for those who survived and will be grateful to hug our parents, our spouse and our children again.