My mind is in overdrive. And when that happens, I write.
Spencer and I met 10 others from Redland after lunch at a home where one of the tornadoes touched down. Utter destruction. We were literally picking up the pieces of their home. Pieces of their life. Metal, wood, shingles. All around them. Mattress up in a tree. Debris all in the tree lines of surrounding fields. Piles upon piles being made. This family survived. I couldn’t believe it after seeing what used to be their home.
Strewn everywhere were pieces of life. Just heartbreaking. Thought provoking.
Then we met them and their neighbors and family to help them unload the personal belongings that survived the horrific tornado. How does an ink pen survive? And a note perfectly folded and dry? Yet, metal is twisted and wood is ripped in pieces.
The father saw it coming and covered his family and they survived. I can’t even fathom the fear. Was there even time for fear? The freight train sound. And in a matter of minutes how things can change.
I can’t help but see the correlation between this father and THE FATHER.
I stood staring at the belongings that survived and the toys in the field and the pieces of house in the trees. I couldn’t even wrap my head around it.
Destruction. People working like ants. Busy. With a purpose.
They were so thankful for the help. But really, we were just being the hands and feet of Jesus. Life on mission. That’s our heart. That’s the heart of my church, Redland Baptist. Where the pastor serves in the trenches with you. Where the members just jump in and get their hands dirty ( personally my favorite type of mission work). And I’m seeing that it’s the heart of so many in our community. It’s a beautiful thing.
The last items that I carried inside were an ink pen and 2 Christmas ornaments. An ink pen. It mattered. There were pillows that looked perfect that remained untouched by the tornado. Photographs untouched. I don’t know what all they lost (and I’m not minimizing the “things”), but I do know this…they still have each other and you could see the thankfulness in their eyes. There are many who can’t say that.
The home across the road was completely twisted and torn. And this was just 2 of the MANY homes that were destroyed.
So many lives were lost this weekend.
In a matter of minutes worlds were changed.
As we were hunkering down after receiving Code Red Tornado warnings (and we were fine.. just a precaution) in our downstairs laundry room, waiting for round 2 of the storm, I left to run upstairs for something. I looked at my girls and said “if something happens to me and I don’t come back, I’m in heaven. Don’t worry about me because I’ll be just fine.” I meant it.
A matter of seconds can change your world.
Do you know where you’d be if you didn’t come back?
We aren’t guaranteed the next second.
Missions is A Beautiful Thing. Knowing your future is secure is even more beautiful.
In Christ Alone,
I want to say thank you to the first responders, law enforcement, medical teams, linemen, and the communities and anyone who have been the hands and feet. You are appreciated. I am thankful for you. You choose to love your neighbor as yourself and it doesn’t go unnoticed, even if it feels like it does at times. It’s been a blessing watching so many people love on our sister counties. I got choked up a few times just seeing and hearing about the kindness extended to those hurting around us.
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Matthew 20:28 NLT
“For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galatians 5:14 NLT