I grew up in Kansas, presently am living in Oklahoma and have no plans to leave the Midwest. Therefore, I am accustomed to and plan on spending many a night huddling in the closet with my loved ones, a radio at my side, while listening to the storm brewing. And praying.
This event has become so routine, that I often don’t think the tornado will actually touch down. Even though we are smack dab in the middle of “Tornado Alley”, I have yet to be affected by one.
Until now. The tornado that hit Joplin in May was the seventh deadliest tornado in all of U.S. history. I really couldn’t look at the pictures until now.
I waited several weeks before driving to the scene myself. I wasn’t sure my tender little heart could handle it.
This is not the scene of a construction site-this is the total annihilation of several businesses.
The outpouring of food, shelter, financial gifts and elbow grease from surrounding communities, churches and non-profits was tremendous for the people of Joplin. I was impressed with the quick response from so many and the practicality of what people were willing to offer and do. Some just came to clean up, others to offer counsel, others opened their homes to those displaced-even as far reaching as Tulsa.
It’s often the disasters that bring us together, reminding us of the preciousness of life, and of the finality of death.
I suppose the weighty-ness of Joplin was the reason I couldn’t talk about all of this until now. I usually reserve my blog for butterflies and rainbows.
But hey, life throws some crap your way from time to time. Let’s be real. ..