Last night horrible tornadoes ripped through Arkansas devastating communities very close to where we live.
The same communities that we have been house hunting in.
Watching image after image, constantly refreshing my Twitter feed (Central Arkansas has a tight Twitter community,) listening to the sheriffs voice crack on the news as he told of the devastation, I remembered a day very similar to this 17 years ago.
17 years ago my parents home was flattened by a tornado. My mother, father and sister were inside and blessedly survived. So did my brother who was in a store downtown, where he helped get everyone to a safe place then worked the rest of the day and night to move perishable merchandise across town.
There is nothing that can compare to seeing your home and your neighborhood reduced to rubble. To seeing soldiers stationed on every corner, to standing in a line in the rain for food that you will eat under a tent. To lining up in a school gymnasium to "shop" for clothes, toiletries, flatware, tupperware. Having to replace almost everything you need. From toenail clippers to sofas to a bowl for the dogs food.
It is surreal.
This time the storm passed by us this time, but we know people who were not so fortunate.
A family from our former church has lost every single thing except their lives.
A friends house barely missed, when the ones to the right were destroyed.
Homes and lives taken in a blink.
Please pray for all those affected by last nights storms.
Their pain will be large and small, it will be communal and personal, it will be physical and spiritual. And it will take a long time to heal - long after the cameras and bulldozers have rolled out of town.
And if you can, please give.
Give to local organizations like The One Inc or local church efforts because they are on the front lines and will remain there for weeks.