On December 26, 2015, my daughters, two stuffed unicorns, a Mini Schnauzer, the head of an English Mastiff and I crowded into a tiny shower. We sang songs about Jesus and played with a flashlight while tornado sirens blared in the background. My husband stood on the porch of our two bedroom renthouse constantly asking if we were ok. I knew when his tone changed, he was witnessing something big. A devastating tornado hit our little town destroying homes, farms and taking lives. Our neighbors south of us were hit the hardest. When the sun came up on the 27th, the extent of the damage was visible. Until that day, I had never seen such loss in person.
Day four after the storm and my community is stronger than on December 25th. Strangers are missing work to help clean up homes and search rubble for anything salvageable. Donations are so large that the drop off locations have more than they can hold. Fundraisers are being held to cover funeral expenses. Dogs and cats are being taken in by homes and treated as family until their owners are found. Churches are staying open around the clock to provide meals, beds, showers, charging stations – you name it.
As I witness the aftermath unfolding, the hope in me is stirred. Though our televisions, tablets, phones and monitors show the world growing eerily dark, my eyes see the Light shining brightly.