Heavy clouds have hung over the Midwest during the past several days, but also over the lives of thousands of people throughout our nation. So, when I opened my computer to write my blog entry this morning, I could only think of the devastation and resulting hurt across a vast and beautiful area of our country.
Today my heart aches for residents in the great midsection of the U.S. who are feeling the painful anguish of loss, while holding desperately to hope; who have in such a sad way been reminded of the insignificance of material possessions with relationship to the lives of loved ones; who, once again, recognize how helpless is man against the wrath of nature.
While the destruction has been pictured on television and reporters have described the carnage, I have prayed: for the people of Joplin, for the people in Oklahoma, for my own loved ones in Kansas as the clouds moved close to their home, and for those in the path of the threatening storms that seemed to multiply exponentially while moving to the east to threaten and terrorize residents in their paths. I prayed not only for people I know who live in those areas, but also for those I don’t know and will never meet.
I am grateful to the many people who are able to respond by being there physically to dig through the rubble and offer comfort and help. Once again our firefighters, law enforcement officers, and the National Guard have demonstrated bravery and dedication. The Salvation Army, as in every disaster around the world, is responding with both physical and spiritual care, Heart-to-Heart International is responding with medical and hygiene supplies and a multitude of trained professionals and volunteers, and the Red Cross is doing what they prepare ahead to do with sheltering those who no longer have a place to lay their heads at night. While I can’t be in those areas to help, I can support with prayer and by sharing my resources.
For thousands of people today, joy has been seemingly crushed out of their lives and they are encompassed by clouds of despair. My prayer is that they will rest in the hope given by our great God. I think of Psalm 30:5, “… weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (KJV)
(Submitted to NBC News, Kansas City)