My heart is breaking for those across our country devastated by storms. The tornado that hit on Sunday definitely hit my heart the hardest. My youth pastor from high school and his wife, and granddaughter live in Joplin. When I heard the news on Monday morning, my heart sank, and my stomach felt sick. I immediately got on his facebook page to see if anyone knew if they were ok. No word from them, but a friend of their's reported they had minimal damage to their home, and were alive. Thank you God!
It's been 25 years since he was my youth pastor, I just aged myself, but he was someone who made a huge impact on my life as a mentor in my walk with Christ. He helped me understand grace, and helped me to grow in a relationship with Christ. I am forever grateful to him and to his family.
He posted pictures of the devastation last night and today, pictures of their friends home which now looked like toothpicks and piles of debris. Thankfully, their friends made it through the storm, but they lost everything.
Spent most of yesterday helping one of our friends and coworkers sift through their destroyed house. We are grateful that they are alive, but their house was a total loss. The town is telling everyone to stay away unless you are an official rescue operation. We have already heard stories of looters. I am back in the office, still numb, trying to do some work. Appreciate all the prayers.
"What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other?" George Eliot
Reach out if you can to all those who are facing devastation. Even a $10 donation to the Red Cross helps. We can all pray for God's grace, mercy, comfort to overwhelm those who have faced this destruction across our country.
Be thankful to for the blessings around you, and let those you love know you love them. Also, live your life without regrets. Take time to get right with God and spend some quality time with Him each day as well. If you are near areas affected by the storms, see how you can help. Each of us, no matter where we live, can help out someone who has faced hard times in life and needs someone who cares about them to reach out. Don't just think someone else can or will do it, step up and do it. I had someone say to me in the past couple days that they worked hard for their home and their life and would not willing give up any of their 'stuff.' I had a difficult time staying quiet. I did say a few things, like sometimes it's not your choice to lose your 'stuff.' Sometimes something happens to take it all away and when that is where your priorities are, then what? It was not met with a favorable response, but material items are just that, material. It seems we have become such a me focused society that we have forgotten about others. We have become desensitized to the horrific pictures we see in mass destruction, and many times think oh, that's too bad, but don't give it another thought. People matter. People are hurting. Hurting people need to know someone cares, and we can change lives, change our country, if we all started to live a life to serve others, to reach out to others, to give up something so someone who doesn't have anything can have a little better life. A hand of compassion goes a long way, so reach it out and love on other people in a real way.