Last year, I wrote a post here reflecting on the experience of the aftermath of a massive tornado outbreak across the south. In that storm, we narrowly avoided tornadoes to our north and to our south as close as a half mile, and as far as two miles. I shared with you about the experience of community, and my reflection of what happened When the Lights Came Back On.
On March 2, 2012, we experienced another set of devastating storms through our part of the world. This time, for me, the lights will not come back on. On Friday, our home was completely destroyed.
Nobody was home when the EF-2 twister tore through my neighborhood, leaving my home in a pile of rubble. To say that we are still in shock is an understatement. Our immediate needs have been addressed, and we are working to salvage what we can. We have already retrieved more than I thought imaginable.
In April 2011, we did what we could to reach out to neighbors, family and strangers to support relief efforts. In March 2012, I was the recipient of the generosity of my many families: immediate, church, and work. Yesterday, 60-some people descended on our property and helped us with the first phase of salvage. Boy Scouts, members of a high school football team, two church groups, FEMA, Red Cross, and numerous volunteers from a local college tackled the mess. We have been flooded with all kinds of support, kindness and care. Last year, I considered it a tremendous blessing to serve. This weekend, I consider it a tremendous blessing to allow others to share their gifts of service for me. I am deeply overwhelmed.
With respect to my house, the lights cannot come back on. But in the eyes and hearts of those around us these past couple of days, the light is shining. We are in good spirits, all things considered. The Lord is our rock, and our refuge, in this most certain time of trouble. I will praise Him in good times, and bad, and despite our loss, we have been given much.
As I hold my family close, I cannot help but think: I have been, and remain, very, very blessed.
For those of you interested, here is a link to the interview I gave for a local TV station.