Monday, April 28, 2014

Torn apart - in many ways

As tornadoes devastated much of central Arkansas last night, I "watched" via Facebook and the internet from our beach house in Fort Morgan, Alabama, where I am with my Lucy and Ellie Rose and two girlfriends.  During the night when I couldn't sleep, I again picked up my laptop to see the destruction via news reports, pictures and videos, along with the death toll of 11 at that time.  Facebook may have its naysayers and its problems, but I am thankful for this media, as I see friends report they are safe, even though this destructive force of nature came too near to them.  I am heartbroken for the people who lost friends and family and for so many who lost their homes and possibly everything they own.  And I am moved to tears by friends out of state expressing their concern and wanting us to report in that we are safe.

It all comes down to this - loving each other.  I know we will be hearing the stories from people who lost everything in this storm but still have their families so nothing else matters.  This reminds us that ours is a transient world which can be gone in the blink of an eye or the rumble of a storm.  None of us are safe, as terrible things happen to someone every day - whether through death, a cancer diagnosis, an accident with far-reaching consequences. But it all comes down to having people who love - whether they know you or not - and who will act on that love.  The outpouring of concern and money and clean-up - it will all restore our faith and our hope.  There is even already a Facebook page for  pets lost and found during this storm:
Of course that makes me sad, but happy that many will be safely reunited in the next few days.

I would never call this storm an act of God as I don't believe God acts in this way - a force of nature, yes, but an act of God - NO!  I believe completely that He lets things happen in this old world without intervening, most of the time.  I believe He answers prayers, but not always in the way we expect Him to.  If He did, there would be no one who didn't believe in a world of dial-a-prayer.  I believe He wants us to talk to Him every day, but not just asking for safety in storms, good health, success in work, that perfect relationship, etc.  It's so easy to turn to Him when we need things, as many people will after last night's storms in Arkansas.  To me, this is the only part of the storm that God likes - if more of His people talk to Him, I believe He is delighted.  And I totally believe that He will comfort every person who asks - often through the love of others, who are his Hands and Feet on this earth.

So, let's keep all affected folks in our prayers, as God will bless them and us for remembering He is always there and calling on him.  Keep them on your hearts and do what you can to be God on this earth - give money, work on clean up, donate according to needs - these are all acts of love.  And, last but not least, pray.  God loves to hear from his children.  And I am thankful for that.

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