I have three girls. I know what it is like to wonder if a child is going to live through a crisis. One nearly died twice from health issues, not to mention the time she ran from me while holding a steak knife. I know what it like to worry.
I also know what it is like to feel the relief of knowing everything would be OK. The time Katie ran from me after sneaking a steak knife out of the dishwasher, I couldn’t catch her before she darted around the corner on hardwood floors, only to fall face-forward. My heart stopped. When I got to her she was still laughing as she lay on the floor with the knife at her side – sticking straight up.
When Haley was barely a year old I saw her sitting in the living room staring straight ahead. She looked strange. That’s when I noticed she wasn’t breathing. I ran to her, picked her up, and when I did blood gushed from her mouth and nose. She had found a small funnel and had fallen on it in her mouth. The small end punctured her pallet. Fortunately, we got her to the ER in time and she healed up fine.
There have been many close calls, and each time I have been thankful it didn’t turn out worse.
Several years ago, when we still lived in Kentucky, the sky turned green as sirens started to wail. I had never seen a tornado in person, but I had heard one. This time there were no winds, no roaring, and no warning, just a green, darkening sky, and those sirens.
My wife and girls went to get into the shower, but on the way Haley, only 4, grabbed a white dress, her little purse, and her little Bible. Even in the confusion my wife asked her what all that was for, that’s when Haley answered, “If I die, I want to be in my pretty dress and have my Bible…but if we don’t don’t die we may need some money.” Spiritual and practical.
Like an idiot, I went outside. The first thing I saw were people in the cul-de-sac looking up at something behind me. When I stepped off the porch and turned around, that’s when I saw it, too. It was a huge, black, round cloud – much like the cloud that the first alien spacecraft came out of on the movie Independence Day – and it was passing directly over us. All I could say was, “Oh, crap!”
Nothing happened to us, but the next morning we found out that a tornado touched down just two miles beyond us. Several homes and a church, along with a gymnasium, were completely destroyed. Again, we were thankful.
“We lost everything…”
I was watching the news about Moore City, Oklahoma. Several people being interviewed said, “We lost everything.” But I will never cease to be amazed that even in the midst of all that tragedy, so many who have lost everything go on to say, “but I am so thankful.”
One video showed a family exiting their storm shelter into a scene total destruction. A family member said, “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.”
One man I heard talked about losing everything but his wife and girls. For that he thanked God. I thanked God, too.
Some families will not see their loved ones again. Many children died while seeking shelter in doomed elementary schools. But many more did not die. Many miraculously survived.
Did you wake up this morning? Did your children wake up and complain about going to school? Did your husband or wife roll over, give you a kiss, and say, “Good morning, dear?” Some were not as fortunate as you.
“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” – James 4:14 KJV