20 May 2013

Doesn’t it feel now like we just go from body blow to body blow lately? From Superstorm Sandy to Sandy Hook to winter storm Nemo to the Boston Marathon bombings to the fertilizer plant explosion to last week’s parade shooting in New Orleans to today’s tornado in Moore, Okla.

The Oklahoma tornado may be one of the most devastating in history. As I write this, the unconfirmed dead is 91 and rising, at least 20 of them children. 

The footage of all the twisted wreckage is gut-wrenching. It seems impossible that anyone could have survived the tornado, which had speeds of up to 200 mph and was on the ground for a remarkable 40 minutes. 

All the news is horrifying, but the most chilling words I heard were this afternoon when a reporter, his eyes filling up, talked about how the rescue mission had switched to a recovery mission in one certain area because they had heard calls for help, but they hadn’t heard them for 15 minutes. What if you were one of those people trapped in the rubble? You are hurt, buried, screaming for help and you die as you’re waiting for them to come rescue you?  I don’t know how to process that...the thought that rescue workers could hear them but couldn’t get to them and know that time simply ran out. Nightmare.

I’ve seen interviews with survivors whose homes were decimated and they talk about how everything can be replaced. They must be in shock, but they seem to have moved very quickly from the sorrow of having lost every material possession to gratitude that they and their family members or alive. Or maybe it’s the only way around... after the shock wears off, then they start to mourn the loss of everything that symbolized their lives. 
My heart feels so heavy and I don’t have the words to seem to express the despair, so I’m just going to shut up for today. 

Today’s $10 goes to Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief, which is providing relief for those affected in Moore and the other storms that have wreaked havoc across Oklahoma. They take care of those things that seem secondary, but really aren’t: such as providing laundry services, in addition to meals and helping remove trees, etc. 

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