As I sit and watch the tragedy in Moore, Oklahoma unfold on the news, I truly wish I had an explanation for why bad things happen in this world. I don’t. This one hits particularly close to home for me.
But for the grace of God, there go I.
Last March 2 (2012), my senior daughter’s principal chose to release them from school about 15 minutes earlier than usual. She made it home as the EF4 tornado swept behind our neighborhood, barreled through the countryside and cut a path straight for the school
Had the principal made a different decision (and who could have faulted him if he had because school is safe, right?), my daughter would have been severely wounded or killed. The hallway that was her “safe” place during a tornado was later shown in pictures and video to be severely damaged with the twisted metal of lockers torn from the walls and slung around.
I think God often for a principal who listened to his gut and send them home that day.
Why the Children?
I see this question all over Facebook when tragedy happens. I’ve even had people angrily say things to me like “Where was your God when that happened?”
My answer is that He was there. He was comforting the children, easing their fear and He will walk alongside their parents through this.
There are stories of a man all in white who helped people during the Henryville tornado. When the storm had passed, he was nowhere to be found, no one knew him (and in Henryville, everyone knows everyone) and there was no car to show he’d been there. His car WOULD have been destroyed because all the other cars in the parking lot were. It is a story that sends chills up my arms every time I hear it. You decide if he was a messenger from God (an angel) or not. Personally, I choose to believe that he was.
I myself don’t understand why God doesn’t step in and save innocents all the time. I don’t understand why He guides one principal to send the children home and another doesn’t seem to take that direction or take it quickly enough.
I don’t understand why the children have to die. It is very unfair, isn’t it? I believe in the fundamental truth that God is good and just, but I also have to accept that sometimes I may question that and have to work hard to believe I will understand one day even if I don’t right now. Having faith doesn’t mean you just accept things, it simply means that you still believe what you know to be truth even when you don’t understand and maybe you are even a bit angry over it.
Tonight, my heart breaks for the town of Moore, Oklahoma. I can’t begin to imagine their anguish. I want to rush there and help, but I also know that it is best for people to stay out so the rescue and recovery teams can do the work they need to do. Later, there will be opportunity to go there and work and clean up and help. They don’t need that from the lay person right now.
Leaning Not on Our Own Understanding
It says in the Bible that right now, on this earth, we see through a glass darkly. However, when we get to heaven, we will understand clearly. During dark days like 9/11, the Boston Marathon or tornadoes ripping a town to shreds, I can’t even pretend to understand.
Instead, I pray and I plead with God. If ONE child can still be saved, please save him or her. I pray that He sends comfort to the parents who’ve lost children. Sometimes, I don’t even have words. I just cry out and I know He does understand what my heart is trying to say but my mouth and mind are too sorrowful to express.
Tomorrow, as we move forward and go about our normal days, remember that there are people in the Midwest who will never have normal again. If you’re a believer, take a minute to say a prayer for them. Do that all day long. A prayer doesn’t have to be long-winded. I could write hundreds of articles about how I’ve witnessed the miracles that come from sincere prayer and if anyone needs a miracle right now it is the people of Moore.
Hug your children tight and tell them how much you love them.
Stay safe. These storms aren’t over yet.