May 17, 2017

Yesterday a powerful storm and tornado system hit Elk City, Oklahoma.  There was at least one fatality, several injuries, and significant damage to homes and businesses.  One of the homes that was hit was the one where we used to live.  It was so surreal to see it affected knowing that it figured so prominently in our daughter’s childhood.  It was a strange feeling seeing that it had largely been destroyed and at the same time remembering that it had once given us a joyful place to live.that had once given you safe and joyful memories.  I don’t know who lives there now, but they are certainly in my prayers.

I work with a person whose in-laws lost their home in the storm.  There are also several people at St. Luke’s who were from Elk City.  I have encountered two people (just since yesterday’s storm) who had connections to the man who lost his life.

It is in moments like these that we can see that we are far more connected than we might have realized.  But there is a deeper truth in life – we are always connected.  Whenever we see tragic events on television – whether they take place a few miles from home or on the other side of the world – we are connected.  They are our sisters and brothers.   They are our neighbors.  They are our family – for we are all children of God.

While I might not be able to address every situation that I see on the news reports, I can at the very least remember my connection to those who are hurting.  I can refuse to turn away and think, “It’s not my problem.”  I can seek to do what I can and I can commit my prayers to people I may not even know – for in truth, they are known and loved by God.

“It’s good to remember that in crises, natural crises, human beings forget for awhile their ignorances, their biases, their prejudices.  For a little while, neighbors help neighbors, and strangers help strangers.”  – Maya Angelou