From May 20th 2013

Here is what I wrote on this same date last year:

Tornadic Life

I’m sure you’ve been following what’s been happening in Moore, Oklahoma, the past few days. We’re fine. Everyone in our church is fine. One of our City Pres women is a counselor at Plaza Towers Elementary School and she was there when the tornado hit, but she’s okay. As okay as you can be when something like that happens. It is horrific.

I went to the site today, and because I’m a pastor and was wearing a collar, was able to get anywhere I needed. I spent time at Command Central, but didn’t have much to do since I wasn’t around grieving people, but around those with the most to do. I walked to the worst sites and helped and prayed. It’s something to see things on the news and hear reports. But when you walk around and their are literally no houses left, it is overwhelming. It’s not like a bomb went off. It’s like 100 bombs went off.

What’s amazing is that so few people died in this disaster. That’s because Oklahoman for the most part know what to do. We build storm shelters, enough of them at least. We watch the news. We scurry when we see tornadoes coming. We talk about this.

And then we come to help. In the midst of the disaster, and chaos, I saw a lot today. I saw character. I saw resolution. I saw esprit de corps. I saw grace. I saw hope. I saw stories of rescue.

I cried a lot today, as a person, as a man and as a pastor. I was overcome by emotions as I walked around and wondered what to do. I felt like I just wanted to go home and cry. I felt like I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t have any answers, and I really wasn’t sure what it was I had to offer, if anything.

But But But But But But – there is hope. Friends, pray for us. I pray that you’ll pray. I pray that you’ll think about the things in your own life and how they matter and don’t matter. Or that you’ll understand what really matters. And that you’ll think about and pray to Jesus. He is Emmanuel, God with us. He is real, and he really matters, and I know that’s true for you and for me and for Moore today.