I chose the title of this article from something a friend, Karen Ball, said today because there truly has been an outbreak of tornadoes in the Midwest, where Mel and I lived for fifty years. I would show you some scary pictures of the tornadoes I’ve seen from friends back in SW Missouri, but right now those pictures remind me that I truly do have a lot of friends and loved ones in the path of these tornadoes and this flooding, and it breaks my heart.
This would upset me even if Mel hadn’t been in that bull’s-eye all weekend. His trip to visit his mother turned into a nightmare, with sirens going off, airlines claiming mechanical issues more than once, and now a snowstorm in Denver, keeping him from making his final leg of the journey back home. This is Tuesday, and he’s been trying to make it home since Saturday. He’s not here yet!
I’ve been so focused on the weather because of my husband’s predicament that I have seen several close calls for friends and family, even today, where flooding has filled the streets of our former hometown, and more than one tornado has touched down far too close for comfort by my cousins in Oklahoma. Another friend in Missouri had a basement flood because of the tornado that touched down south of Pittsburg KS and knocked out the power in a huge area. No power, no sump pump, which should have been keeping the basement dry. The rain is so heavy that this friend can’t get out to see if there’s been more damage from wind.
These storms are evident to many, touted on the news constantly with their scare tactics, but I find it interesting that no one in the Midwest knew anything about the snowstorms here in the Rockies because the weather people don’t consider that they would care right now. I don’t suppose it occurred to them that we are a world connected, and that someone from a flooded area might be flying to a place with a snowstorm.
Actually, though, if we don’t live in a vacuum, we know that there are always storms taking place every day somewhere with people we love. Some friends are struggling financially due to job issues, others are struggling with life-threatening health issues, others with children issues or family discord. If, like me, you keep in touch with many of your friends and family on social media, it can become a deluge, overwhelming in the significance and trauma of constant catastrophes or near catastrophes of people you love.
This is when I need the reminder that they are not alone and neither am I. Mel and I have a dear friend whose family has been called in, as his illness will overtake him soon. I’ve been to see him, and promised to return in a few days.
“I might not be here when you get back,” he said.
“I know. But I’ll see you in heaven.”
He was there when I returned, but I know someday he won’t be. And yet we have that promise of heaven. When viewed through the lens of eternity, these horrific catastrophes will show up for what they really are–shapers of our lives, tests that have formed us into the people He wants us to be. I have often heard friends say, “How I wish I would learn whatever it is I need to learn so this will stop!” And how I agree.
Today, though, the most honest thing I can say to God is, “Your will be done. Please keep them safe physically, but in the end, Your will be done.”
After all, it truly is in His hands.