I sit here this morning,
a day before the two-year Joplin tornado anniversary,
and my heart is completely broken for the town of Moore, Oklahoma.
We rushed to the basement last night when the sirens blared here.
We hunkered down and watched the radar
and checked facebook
and poured over our phones
and flipped through news channels on the tv
and listened to the sirens go off two more times.
Then, when we had an "all-clear",
walked out of the basement.
Everything was fine here.
But as I stood outside later that evening...
and looked at the super pink sky reflecting off the strangely patterned clouds....
It was very hard to feel any relief.
All I could feel was a sick sick wrenching in my stomach.
I remember when the skies had lightened May 22, 2011.
I remember looking around and thinking.....
maybe I wasn't really even capable of thought at that point.
But I remember a feeling of incredulity
mixed with fear
mixed with gratitude
mixed with nausea
mixed with relief
mixed with desperation
mixed with sadness
mixed with panic
mixed with confusion
mixed with exhaustion.
I think I know how the people in Moore were feeling right then.
I remember....and I find no relief in my safety.
Right now they are running on pure adrenaline.
They are frantically trying to find some way....
to uncover some kind of piece of "normal".
Something that can serve as a type of cornerstone to attach their spinning-out-of-control lives to RIGHT NOW.
It might be an intact dinner plate.
Or a neighbor.
Or a pet.
Or a picture in a cracked frame.
Something that can serve as an anchor....
irregardless of how small...
to a sense of what WAS just 12 hours ago.
What I can NOT imagine is this.
Learning that the child you have so frantically searched for....
is now on the other side of heaven.
I know how it feels to be scared that you child (and nephew) could be gone.
I know how it feels to have people searching for them.
I even know how it feels to loose the ability to pray actual words....and just cry out from the most hollow empty scary place deep inside, "GOD....GOD" because all you can say is His name.
But my arms were eventually filled with the precious living squirming crying beautiful filthy bodies of two 7 year olds.
Oh my heart.
I know that You are with your children in Oklahoma.
I know You have stayed by their sides and are there now...even if it is hard for them to feel You.
Please, Lord...help them feel Your presence.
And for those who can't find the strength or words to pray right now....
I thank You that You hear the cries of their hearts.
For them I pray....
Heal the hurt.
Keep the rescuers safe.
Strengthen the parents and families searching and mourning.
You make beautiful things out of the ashes....
and even thought they can't see that right now...
Help them feel the strength that comes from the hope of that.
In Christ's name....