I’m typing and tears are falling.
My state and the city I work in, Moore, Oklahoma, is grieving. Quivering in the wake of yesterday’s storm.
Surely you’re aware an F5 tornado, “the worst devastation this state has ever seen,” hit Moore yesterday afternoon at 3:15pm. I left my personal training studio, two blocks south of the tornado’s path, at 2:45pm. I had a 3:00 client, but we both decided it was prudent to reschedule.
I climbed in my car as huge raindrops plopped onto my dashboard. I turned on the radio. A frantic weatherman said he saw a funnel pulling down from the clouds near Newcastle. Now, a barrel! It came so fast. I raced down the highway to pick up Finn from daycare in Norman and to meet Joey to take cover. We watched the news in horror as this monster tore its way through a very populated area of Moore and dangerously close to demolishing my workplace. We went to bed last night thankful, but oh-so-sad; especially for the parents of the seven children killed in Plaza Towers elementary school. Our close friend is a member of the Moore Police Dept. and he was one of the heroes there recovering the children.
The parking lot of my studio is being used for relief, so I am currently out of work. But today I got to do something a little more fulfilling than riding a spin bike. I pillaged my home for donations. I was debating whether or not to give away my Marmot Precip rain jacket–an expensive purchase that just takes up closet space–while the reporter on television featured a little girl who donated her piggy bank, full and heavy with coins. Needless to say, I received God’s message of extravagant giving and the jacket made its way into the trunk of my car.
Then I headed to Target to shop for more relief essentials.
I decided the volunteers may need a little “pick me up,” so I ordered 4 extra coffees from Starbucks. When the barista asked what I wanted in them, I said, “I don’t know, I’m giving them away.” She asked if Starbucks could donate them instead.
It seems futile, but we’re all doing our part. Steaming hot coffee or humming generators, the human spirit longs to give.
Joey and some other pastors took church vans to the “war zone” to provide transportation for displaced people and volunteers. They patrolled up and down “neighborhood” streets and picked up people who needed transportation. The National Guard wouldn’t allow people to return to their homes (or what was left of them) in their cars. Joey also met up with some Red Cross volunteers and they were able to provide transportation to hand out food.Some of what Joey encountered today:
As I slathered Miracle Whip between thousands of slices of white bread, I prayed for the medical personnel, volunteers, firefighters, National Guardsmen or victims who might eat it. That their hearts would be nourished as well as their bellies. That God would be near to them despite this confusion and chaos.
Please continue to pray for the people of Moore, Oklahoma. And donate to the Red Cross if you can. It will be a long recovery, and life will never be the same for many of these people, particularly the parents who lost their little ones just days before school was out for the summer. More storms in the forecast later this week.