Tuesday, May 24, 2011

When Disaster Strikes

On Sunday evening, disaster struck.  And it struck really close to home.

A monstrous tornado swept through the heart of of Joplin, Missouri leaving behind it a mass of complete & utter destruction.

Homes destroyed.  Businesses demolished.  Lives lost.

As I sat watching the news that evening, tears streamed down my face, my stomach clenched into tight knots, & my heart felt a heaviness that still hasn't eased.  Joplin is an old stomping ground of mine.  I grew up going there as a child, I've got lots of family who reside there {thank God it was only their homes taken from them & not their lives}, & it was just a 25 minute jump from the town I went to college in.  Joplin is personal to me, & to see the images of what remains of it, is heart wrenching.

Over the past several days, I have been unable to remove my thoughts from the devastation that Joplin is going through.  My eyes have been glued to the television & I continuously check facebook for the steady stream of updates.  And just as the horrific images & stories continue to bring the sting of tears to my eyes, there is something else that moves me to tears...


I honest to God have seen nothing like what I have seen over these past few days.  People coming together.  The multitudes who are so eager to help, to give, to bring some relief.  I felt it too.  That tug that made me want to jump in my car & drive straight into the city of Joplin to offer up anything & everything I had.  Everywhere I turn I see an outpouring of love, compassion, & empathy.  I watch as one person does their own small something & how those small somethings all add up to one gigantic movement that would be humanly impossible without one another.  It has been amazing, to say the least.

I believe with all of my heart that this is the way God shows himself in life's disasters.  He pulls & tugs at our hearts so that we can go out & be his very hands & feet.  I believe that the natural built in reaction we have of wanting to reach out to help those in need is something that was placed inside of us for a specific purpose.  I believe it is the very way God wraps his arms around his people who need it the most.

So I will yield to that tug.  I will give.  I will donate.  I will pray.  I will do my little something that seems so insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

Because if it were me pulling myself up out of that mountain of rubble, I would want to look around to find God's arms outstretched to me, as well.

I'm asking that if you're reading my blog that you too, will do your little something.  There are numerous ways you can get involved in the relief efforts for Joplin & what you have to offer will make a difference.

This tragedy is huge, no doubt.  The devastation is horrible & this town will need support & prayers for a very long time to come.  The days & months ahead are going to be wearing.

But in the end, I believe that mankind is bigger.  Lives will be slowly be pieced back together.  Homes will be rebuilt.  Businesses will boom again.  And even the broken hearts will one day begin to heal.  Joplin, MO will thrive again.

Because when disaster strikes,  humanity has a beautiful way of striking back.

1 comment:

  1. Well written, Holly. I had tears just reading this. I have felt the exact same way and I feel like I can't pull myself away from trying to do everything in my power to help the people of Joplin (and Reading, KS...not too far from Ottawa). I know that disasters happen all the time, but this one was close to home....close to our hearts and, like you, I haven't witnessed humanity like this in my own town and home EVER. Thank you for putting it into words.