After the Storm

prayingLast night I watched the news and was truly saddened by what I saw.

The town of Moore, Oklahoma, was pretty much devastated by an EF-4 or 5 tornado which was a mile wide and, according to the news, even up to two miles across during part of its life.

My thoughts and prayers go out to this community which is dealing with so much.

It was very hard to watch the news and see entire neighborhoods flattened to nothing but the foundations.  And, the schools and local hospital there were severely damaged as well.

Watching the meteorologists and news reporters get emotional is tough as well.  You know many of them have seen so much in their careers, that you realize how bad this really is when it affects them.

A resident there who is 72 years old said he would be fine.  He mentioned that in life you accumulate a lot of junk and now he’ll get to start over.  He gets a do-over.

Would I be that positive in light of what happened?  I don’t know.  Do you think he was in shock or just trying to make the best of an unfathomable situation?  I was impressed with his positive outlook I must say.

And, I salute all of the first responders, the firemen, policemen, the national guard, emergency response staff, doctors and nurses, search and rescue people, and those who repair our power lines.  All of these men and women have stayed up all night trying to help their community.

The Red Cross will be there as well to help in the rebuilding effort.  My question is with this much damage, where do you start?  One man answered that question – I think either the mayor or city manager — who said first we find the people and go from there.

As I put my son to bed last night, I wept with happiness that I had a bed to put him on with a pillow under his head.   Some people don’t have that anymore and that is heart breaking.  I suppose more so is having lost a child or spouse or other relative or the not knowing if they are alive or not.

Today I am thankful for my family and friends and some things that I have often taken for granted.  I love having a wall in my house to hang a favorite photo on, a refrigerator full of food, a washing machine to clean my clothes, a blanket to put on my son as he sleeps, a sink to wash my hands in, a sidewalk in my neighborhood to walk on and visit with neighbors, and a night stand where I have my Bible.

Lord, please help this community and the amazing people who live there.  May they find their loved ones and be able to stand with one another to rebuild.  May we who don’t live there do what we can to help.  May you provide comfort in these hours of need and loss.  Amen.

To give to the rebuilding efforts, we can contact the Red Cross.  From what I understand, they are asking for blood donations as well as money.  Please see their Ways to Help web site for more information – http://www.redcross.org/support.

5 Minute Friday – Broken

5minutefriday5 Minute Friday Word for March 29 is Broken

This is my second week for trying out the 5 Minute Friday.  Today’s topic is Broken.  Here were the rules.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Okay, here are my 5 minutes of writing:

Broken seems like a great word for today, Good Friday.  This was the day that Jesus was broken physically and then crucified on a cross for me.  Amazing to think about.

He went through more physical pain than I can even fathom because He loves me and you.  Wow!

Broken also makes me think of the time that I fell and broke my arm.  That was painful and took time to heal.  Thankfully I only had a hairline fracture and not an all-the-way through the bone beak.

Broken also is how my heart feels for a family in a nearby county whose 14-year-old daughter died either last night or this morning.  At the moment I can’t remember what she had, but I did see her beautiful face this week on the news.  She was very sick.

On her bucket list was the wish to go to prom.  She was planning to go until she got very sick this week and instead had to go to the local children’s hospital.  Her community then brought the prom to her at the hospital.  She was able to look out her window and see her friends and family there for her.

Isn’t that awesome?  I must admit that I cried when I heard about this.  This beautiful child was so very sick.  I can’t even imagine what her family must be feeling today.  Hopefully they can take comfort that she is in Heaven and no longer sick or in pain.

But as any parent can attest, that will take a while to get to.  It is only natural to grieve the loss of a child.  And knowing you won’t be able to see them or hug them again takes time.  I have a dear person in my family dealing with this very thing.  My thoughts and prayers are with her and her immediate family as well.

broken.breadBack to Jesus and being broken.  Last night at the Maundy Thursday service, we ate Christ’s body broken for us and drank the wine.

In the sermon, our pastor said if you think you have it all together, you aren’t welcome to partake.  He wanted us to realize that we are all broken and that our Lord is there to heal us.  It was a thought-provoking message and the perfect one for the service.

I wonder when I am broken if I will know who to seek for comfort.  I will hope and pray that I do.

Read more thoughts on “Broken” at Lisa-Jo’s Five Minute Friday link-up today.

On Happiness and Sadness

In the movie Steel Magnolias, Truvy says, “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”

That is a bit how the weekend was.  We had the celebration of my grandmother’s life and the following day found out we lost one of our dear sweet family members.

How does one’s mind get around such extremes — of happiness and then sadness?  I don’t know the exact answer and so wish that I did!!

Grams’ party was a lot of fun and she loved my blog that I’d written.  My cousin read a really nice poem and then a funny one, gifts were opened, and great food and cake were enjoyed as well.  It was a great evening.

Then the news of the loss.  Losing a loved one is always difficult.  Crying and prayers and hugs and love are about all I know of to do in times like this.

I saw a picture this morning on Facebook that resulted in some tears — “I wish there were visiting hours in Heaven.”  How I wish that were true!  And, how I wish I could visit our loved one.

There is an expression, “time heals all wounds.”  How much time?  With some losses it feels like that will take a very long time to be true, if ever.  Another is “take it a day at a time.”  On some days, that could be changed to “take it a minute at a time.”

I found some quotes about sadness, loss, and happiness:

  • Tears are God’s gift to us. Our holy water. They heal us as they flow.” ~Rita Schiano”
  • “I don’t know why they call it heartbreak.  It feels like every other part of my body is broken too.”  ~Missy Altijd
  • “If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden.”  ~Claudia Ghandi
  • “I dropped a tear in the ocean.  The day you find it is the day I will stop missing you.”  ~Author Unknown
  • “Happiness is never stopping to think if you are.”  ~Palmer Sondreal
  • The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.”  ~Mark Twain

Lord, please hold my family close and watch over us.  Hugs and love to my family.