Much love to you, Moore, Oklahoma.

Tornadoes hold no glamour for me.

Photo credit

I hated the movie Twister (and only partly because the lame-o script made me whimper). I’ve had to talk each of my children down from the ledge during tornado warnings. And yellow skies and temperature drops will always make me nervous.

I come by this aversion genetically. When she was nineteen, my grandma’s family farm was leveled by a tornado.

Her family was spared because, by God’s grace, they did not go down into the cellar where they usually waited out storms. They got in the car and drove away from the farm. After the storm, they returned to find the house and outbuildings flattened and the cellar collapsed in upon itself, all the canned goods sucked out of their jars.

My grandpa, who was then her college sweetheart, took her to a restaurant in New York where she was visiting him and told her the news. Her love letters from him were strewn across the state. The only clothes she had were the ones in her suitcase. Her family was well, though, and blessing abounded. She tells me now of how God walked alongside them through that time, through the relocation into town, through a new job off the farm for her dad and how that job ended up providing for them after he was gone.

Blessings abound, though the destruction can take your breath away.

Photo credit

Grandma and Grandpa decided to get married shortly after the tornado hit. She says now she had no home to return to, and she was ready to grow a new home with Grandpa. She made a good choice, I’d say. They were married for sixty years.

We ache for you, Moore, Oklahoma. I can’t imagine how overwhelming it must be, how disoriented you feel, how the grief must seep into your body and your thoughts and wear you clean out. May God stitch together all the broken pieces of your hearts and your town. May He give you strength and patience that defy your own understanding. And may you one day tell your granddaughters of the ways God held your hand when all you knew felt so very far away.

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