by Terri Wagner
I guess nothing else can be said or requested that has more power than that statement. I live too far away to jump in my car and go help...although I did during Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina. Those first few moments are so very fleeing. At first you are just grateful you surivived, stunned at those who did not. You are grieving and yet joyful somehow that you are ok. Then comes the realization of what you have lost. No matter how much we say it's just things, the truth is it's our things that just got wiped out. And over time that begins to hurt more than we thought it would.
When those dark clouds, wind, and rain blow away, you find yourself in a very strange place emotionally. Suddenly nothing is safe. Time never quite heals the wound. It justs soothes the rawness of it for a while. It comes back. Everytime the sirens go off, everytime the dark clouds gather, everytime it takes you back. It's like mourning over and over again. And you grieve when it happens to others.
I lived in Topeka Kansas on June 8, 1966 when an F5 hit the town. I remember the joy we were ok, the dismay of the ones that did not make it, the stories that tore your heart out, the destruction that is never really captured in a photo. Mostly, I remember the fear, the pain, the disbelief.
I also remember that people went to churches, prayed in the streets and on what used to be their front door. God was the only rock in a world gone dramatically wrong. Yes, there are those who curse God and demand to know why did He let this happen. But even that anger drains away in the face of scores of those who reach out to help. He's there, using their hands, their faces, their assistance. It dulls the pain just a tiny bit for just a moment.
So I pray when disasters of any kind happen. I rush to help in any way I can, because I know it makes a difference.