When There is Still Hope

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 will remain etched in my memory for many years. Watching the continuous news of the tornadoes that decimated our state was surreal. There are no words that begin to describe it all.

I wasn’t sure I would even write about the storms of last Wednesday here on the blog. There have been and will be countless more written about that horrific day.

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I’ve always been fascinated by storms. Lightning storms are a display of God’s magnificence. Do I dare admit my nerd status when I say how I am glued to severe weather coverage on ABC 33/40 with James Spann? I’ve lived in Alabama all of my thirty-seven years so the threat of Spring tornadoes is an aspect of life here in the south of which I am well acquainted. But something about this day was different. I didn’t need the weather coverage to tell me that. I just sensed it.

My family as well as our extended families across the state were spared damage to our homes. Unfortunately many friends and acquaintances were not.  They have lost homes and some even family members who died in the storms.

The lake we enjoy so much looks nothing like it did just one week ago when we were on the boat. Shorelines reduced to splinters of the trees that stood guard along the water.The water normally reflective of bright blue sky now littered with debris. I have more photos. Photos of homes destroyed, but I can’t bring myself to share those. If feels disrespectful. As if someone’s memories have been too tainted now.

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Other rural areas just ten minutes away shout of incomprehensible power. Homes almost completely gone. Foundations and partial walls the only trace of what once stood. Hundred year old trees lay prostrate with roots dangling in the air as feet.

Then loved ones of friends unable to survive. Experts said even safe places were not safe from this outbreak.

Something has struck me since waking up the day after the storms, though. Life keeps moving. Yes the clean up process and rebuilding has begun, but as I go about my daily life I have realized that life isn’t stopping. The sun rose with a brilliant blue sky the next morning. I still went to small group. I still picked up a milkshake at Chick-Fil-A. My son still had piano and guitar lessons. The Royal Wedding went on as planned. I rented movies to watch while my husband and son went on a campout. I still had photo sessions to edit and laundry to fold. I watched as people bought groceries and chatted with one another in Walmart.

Life keeps moving. It doesn’t seem right yet life doesn’t stop for long when it seems it should pause and grieve. Yet by moving on it shows the resiliency of the human spirit. Or perhaps we move on simply to cope. Otherwise we would break.

As my eyes witnessed so many aspects of life continuing to move forward juxtaposed against what I have seen I thought about a verse from second Samuel.

Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. 2 Samuel 12:20

Before this verse David was grieving and begging God not to take the life of his son. When he heard his servants whispering and realized the child had died what did he do? He got up and began moving again. He worshipped. He decided it was time to live again.

Yes there is a time to grieve. A time to cry out to God and ask why. But then there is a time to live. Because when we begin living again we know there is still hope.