One of them said:
"I'm so sick of hearing about the tornado. I just wish everyone could stop talking about it. It's been almost 2 months!"
Two months today, in fact.
Time to get over it.
To move on.
To just let it go.
Bear with me while I share an analogy my friend and I concocted.
When you are in a swimming pool.....you are wet.
Everyone is wet.....to some degree or another.
At some point everyone wants to get out of the pool.
For those who were standing near the edge....they can just climb right on out.
For those who are dangling their feet in the water, they can stand up and dry off.
For those who are only wading in the shallow end...they can easily walk out to their chairs and towels.
But....for those in the middle of the pool, it's a longer route to dry land.
They may still be in the deep end and need to swim to the edge before they can pull themselves out.
They may be over in the diving well and have to come up for air before they can swim to the edge and then pull themselves out.
They may be stuck out in the middle of the pool gathering everyone else's goggles and water guns
And while some people are still trying to make their way to the side of the pool....those who got out easily are all dried off, cover-ups in place and sippin' a cocktail wondering what's taking everyone so long.
So if this analogy makes any sense.....people are different degrees of "wet".
Today my kids and I had the blessing of meeting a man named Dave.
He was wearing a bright orange and yellow vest and holding a sign to block vehicles from going down a street where demolition and clean-up was taking place.
We pulled over to offer him some Kool-Aid and cookies and I asked him where he was from.
He explained that he was from Joplin, and had been hired by a national company that had come in to help with clean-up efforts.
Then Dave went on to tell me that both he and his wife had lost their jobs because the tornado had destroyed the businesses where they had worked.
THEN he said, and I quote (or paraphrase....but you get the general idea), "I am so lucky to have this job and have an income right now. They (the same company) just hired my wife and she starts this afternoon."
As Carolyn handed him some cookies I asked him if his house was ok
He told me that his house and vehicles had been destroyed, but then stressed AGAIN how lucky he was to have this job.
(Did I mention that his job was to STAND IN THE STREET IN 104 DEGREE HEAT AND NO SHADE because there are no trees left?)
"Where are you living now?" I asked.
"In a tent right now," he replied, looking down, "But me and my wife finally had to take the kids over to Children's Haven because it just got too hot for them."
"But now I've got money coming in....and my wife will too....so we hope that soon......."
"How old are your kids?"
"Ten and five," Dave answered, and then turned away as he started to cry.
I reached into my purse and pulled out a Wal-Mart gift card (that I had just purchased that morning with an amazing donation my sorority sisters had sent me) and asked him if he would let me pass their caring onto him.
Then I asked him if I could pray for him.
He said yes...and I did.
I reached across Bennett and held his Dave's hand, and prayed that God would reveal His purpose in Dave's life, and help Dave to feel His presence and His peace.
I prayed for God's protection over Dave's wife and children, and I thanked Him for the blessing of a divine appointment on some broken-down corner in Joplin.
Then Dave took his Kool-Aid and walked back to his post.....and the kids and I rolled up the windows and drove off in our air conditioned SUV.
You see....I am out of the pool now (to continue that analogy).
I am not totally dry...but I've finally located my towel.
But Dave and his family....well...
They just aren't over it.
They can't just move on.
In fact.....they are still treading water out in the middle of a pretty big pool.
I'm very grateful that this "pool" has a lifeguard who won't let us slip all the way under....
who lets us exit at different rates....
who loves us no mater how "wet" we are.
If you read this....will you please pray for Dave and his family?