“And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.” –Psalm 39:7
I have been following the severe weather outbreak across the Midwest over the last several days and the devastation is appalling. Tornadoes are nothing new to this Kansas girl, but even with as many storms as I’ve been through, I still can’t get used to seeing broken homes and broken lives. Scenes like those in Joplin, Mo. are absolutely horrific and my heart hurts for the people whose lives have been so abruptly changed.
I can’t say I know how they feel. I’ve never been personally affected by a tornado. My home has never been shattered to pieces. My possessions have never been blown miles away by the wind. I can only imagine the pain that follows having your life smashed and scattered, leaving you to try and pick up the pieces of whatever you can find.
I imagine a lot of people are feeling lost and hurt. And waiting. For an absolution. For redemption. For peace.
I believe the Lord allows everything for a purpose. We may not know what that purpose is right away, maybe we will never know. But it’s during times like these that we need to put all our strength and faith in the Lord and hope in him.
I remember when an EF-5 tornado wiped the town of Greensburg, Kansas off the map on May 4, 2007. Greensburg is only an hour from where I live in southwest Kansas, so the storm was a pretty big deal in our area for a long time. I traveled to Greensburg a few weeks after the tornado ripped its path through the town. Here are some photos.
Sorry for the low quality of the images. My computer crashed a few months ago and I lost some of the images stored on my hard drive, these included. A friend was able to recover some of them for me, but they were super compressed. It happens. But I think you will still be able to get a pretty good idea of the state of shambles this town was reduced to.
This one really hurts my little farm girl heart. These used to be such pretty combines…
And farming implements. Tossed together and tangled like toys in a child’s toy box.
Even though the homes of the people of Greensburg were crushed, their spirits were not.
They had hope.
They knew the process would be long. And hard. But they began rebuilding.
And now, four years later, they’ve come a long way.
Here is all that was left of Greensburg High School four years ago.
Here is the new Kiowa Country High School. The towns of Haviland, Mullinville and Greensburg consolidated and built this new, state-of-the-art high school at the site of the old Greensburg High School.
They even put in a wind turbine to generate power.
There is still a lot of work to do in Greensburg. Amidst the brand new hospital, high school, Dillions grocery store and Best Western hotel, trees can still be seen with missing limbs, stairs still sit on foundations and lead to nowhere. Signs of lives once lived and destroyed but never restored.
But slowly and surely, the resilient people of this town are rebuilding. They are making their town better than it used to be. They keep hoping.
I pray the people of Joplin, the people of Canadian County, Oklahoma and everyone else effected by this year’s tornadoes have the strength to keep going.
I pray they have hope.