Friday, June 10, 2011
A power strong enough to knock down double-brick walls.
A power strong enough to mangle cars until they are unrecognizable.
A power strong enough to wrap a truck and trailer completely around a tree.
A power strong enough to pick up cars and place them where buildings used to be.
A power strong enough to tear the bark from trees.
But we've also seen the power of God working in our lives.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
When I was little, I hated storms.
In my adult life, I came to love storms and could often be found out on my front porch photographing lightning.
In my adult life, I often ran to the window to look out when a tornado siren sounded before heading to safety.
On Sunday, May 22, 2011, at 5:21 in the evening, I texted my husband to say the weatherman on the T.V. was announcing a tornado warning in Galena. Within minutes, the sirens sounded and I headed to the closet.
At 5:30, the sirens had stopped. But the hail began.
At 5:33, the lights flickered. Briefly.
At 5:51, I was out on the front porch. Photographing the lightning. I thought the worst was over.
I didn't know it at the time, but at the exact moment I was photographing that lightning, an EF-5 tornado was ripping through Joplin. Hundreds have been lost. Thousands have been left homeless.
Not a shingle was torn from my roof. Not a window was broken in my house. Not a dent was left in my car. Not a life was taken from my family.
I am thankful. Yet I feel guilty.
I feel guilty for not knowing what so many others have been through.
I feel guilty for thinking I wish it had happened to me when so many would never wish this on their worst enemy.
I feel guilty for using the excuse that we've still had school for not traveling ten miles across the state border and helping.
I feel guilty for going out to eat.
I feel guilty for being able to hold my husband. Then I feel guilty for being so clingy.
I feel guilty for not having a house clean enough to offer to those who've lost their homes.
I feel guilty for having a warm, dry bed to sleep on and a washer and dryer to wash my clothes and a computer to write this blog.
I feel guilty when I laugh.
I feel guilty when I do anything that seems normal.
I feel guilty when I read stories about the hundreds and thousands who have worked tirelessly for days.
I feel guilty for hiding inside when it rains.
I feel guilty for not praying as much as I should.
I feel guilty when I cry.
I have not seen firsthand the devastation that was once Joplin, and I think a lot of my guilt comes from that fact.
I don't think it will sink in until I have seen it for myself.
I know that Joplin will rebuild. It will take months, years to rebuild, but I know they will.
I do plan on helping.
I must help.
And I hope that when I do, a little of this guilt will go away.
But I don't know if I'll ever be able to photograph lightning again.