Sunday, May 15, 2011

No Ten on Tuesday for a Week or So...

Live Simply
Love Generously
Care Deeply, Speak Kindly
Life isn't about
for the storm to pass...
It's about learning to
dance in the rain.

[This is a favorite quote that's been my 'tag-line' over on the Fiskars Forum forever.]

I just want to share a little more about the tornadoes that ravaged our state at end of April. Since we were without power and then out of town for a week we still haven't really seen or heard about all of the devastation - about those small communities where family after family lost everything. And I know that there are others facing a similar thing with the flooding of the Mississippi - but I am touched deeply by the stories of the people of Alabama - afterall,
these are my people -

We don't usually *see* storms like this in the south - we have PLENTY of tornadoes, for sure, but most are smaller and they are almost always wrapped in rain so that no one can see them until they're right on top of us - we ARE SO THANKFUL for the enhanced radar and detection abilities to *know* a storm is up there, even when it doesn't drop down. This looks like something out of a movie - oh my - and I had friends watching it live
- knowing it was headed straight for them or their kids in college...

So, I want to start by sharing something a friend of mine shared during the terrible storms of last spring - [and I paraphrase] "I think we should be cautious about saying, 'oh I'm so blessed that we were spared, etc.' Being spared this tragedy doesn't mean God loves me more than He loves my neighbor who lost it all. We all must face trials in this life, and they are different for everyone."

Afterall, I first posted a link to Praise Him in the Storm back in January when we were beginning the walk through our own storm with the diagnosis and illness of Craig's dad. And now to hear these words with the photos from the Tuscaloosa storm is still comforting because we know that our God is there for us -
through all the storms of life.

After working 13 hours days [yes, there's a little weariness and complaint in that] this week, meeting victim after victim of the tornadoes I can say without a doubt that there is still so much trauma and devastation in our state. It will take months and years to re-build...

This video is from the University of North Alabama where many students from the Phil Campbell - Hackleburg area go to college - and where I received my undergraduate degree...

From another friend's facebook post after she'd visited family over in Phil Campbell [where it looks like a bomb went off as you can see above.] Someone commented about 'God caused this, blah, blah blah..." and my friend's quick response - THIS IS FROM THE DEVIL. God may have allowed it, but bad things don't come from Him; the bad stuff comes from satan alone. And while some may take exception to that, I just have to say that I agree - if we get down to the nitty gritty of the spiritual warfare that's going on all around us [and it's there, folks] then we know unequivocally that the bad stuff is from satan and his demons. Doesn't scripture tell us this? Our God is merciful and loving, a God that can use the bad to work good for those who turn to Him - He's waiting to show us a comfort and peace that the world cannot give - and to glorify our Lord above all else.

There were so many tornadoes in our state that day - Here's a link to one of the best news articles I've read about the ONE GIANT TORNADO that traveled across miles and miles - the writer does an excellent job making it real for those who have never experienced such tragedy. [It's long - but so worth the time...]

This week our Department [Alabama DHR] started the process of working with the Federal Government to help storm victims who lost their food [and about 3/4 of the state did due to power outages] replace it if they qualify -
and I met some amazing people.

[And saw the Red Cross in action - helping people in tangible, much needed ways.]

Not all of those I met lost their houses. but many lost freezers full of vegetables they'd painstakingly grown, harvested, and frozen for the future; many are hard-working men and women who live paycheck-to-paycheck and lost all of their food and cried when they were approved. And I know there was a time when we would have been in that same situation - what a gift [small as it may be] this is to them. [Of course we did have this one sweet-looking granny who had a little --?!-- too much savings and cursed us 'son-of-a-b---' as she threw her chair against the table and left; but she's definitely the exception...] More counties will be offered this assistance in the weeks to come [so yippee, I have another week of long days ahead of me,] and seriously? I'm glad I'm in a position to help. And thankful that food was all we lost. [The worker sitting next me all week was dealing with a hole in their roof and getting her car repaired from a tree falling on it - yet was there with a happy face to help others; another one had lost everything... - That's the kind of people who work in social services.]

So I want to share another quote I love,
"Be kind. Everyone's dealing with something."
What's big to me might be small to you and what's big to you might seem small to me, but the point is, we all have to deal with some struggle as we live in this imperfect [fallen] world.
The least we can do is be kind...

We still need help, in all parts of the state -
Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief
Caring for the Pride
Alabama Red Cross


Viji Siddharth said...

I agree with everyword you have is so true...

Scrapin Kat said...

I am thankful for people like you, may each day get easier for everyone effected and helping others. Hope to see you soon!

LindainNCtoo said...

With tears in my eyes, Judy, I agree with you.

We have to be thankful for each day that God gives us. We have to have a smile on our face/be pleasant to one another/ The Golden Rule because we do not know what our neighbor is going through.

I can't tell you how many times patients appreciate me being so kind and gentle in my line of work. I am being myself ( how I would want to be treated ).

Amen, Judy.

These notes that you posts are just as good as your Ten on Tuesday, too!!

scrappinsam said...

I am from Tuscaloosa, currently in Mobile, and am so thankful for the quick actions of our state government, Gov. Bentley and Mayor Maddox and for people like you. My family was very lucky and had no physical damage but losing part of your town and seeing the devastation is like losing a family member. My heart goes out to my friends in Tuscaloosa and Holt.