I've always loved clouds. Their ever-changing shapes have fascinated me since I was a child lying on my back on the front yard of our farm. The puffy tops that rise up like a carnival cotton candy are beautiful from a distance; their threatening rampages miles away and disguised behind an elegant facade.
Someone, too, views these angry clouds from afar, admiring their splendor ...oblivious to their rumbling protests. It is all in the perspective: an observer in a plush balconied audience....or a participant on a live stage.
Last week 10 people lost their lives and hundreds lost their homes as a tornado ripped through our state. Ninety-five percent of Greensburg, Kansas is gone; a small town upon the prairie horizon that has been reduced to rubble and tears.
Their lives were ever-changed by a powerful, whirling tantrum that left both their town and hearts in total devastation.
I've seen firsthand the damage a tornado can do. My husband's job involves helping the people in our county and I have been with him before as we talked with those left homeless from such a storm. My heart was in my throat as I saw the shock on their faces and looked around at their former homes now in shambles. I like to think that I'm not a material person, yet I cannot imagine losing every physical possession that I own: photographs, family heirlooms, books.
There is a poem called, "It takes a Heap of Livin' in a House to Make a Home." So much living and so many memories go into a house and one day after all the sweat, tears, laughter and joy you turn around and find you've made a home. To suddenly lose all of that in a matter of minutes is incomprehensible to me.
And yet, the people of Greensburg have hope. After additional storms stomped through their town and county they were picking up possessions, clearing out debris and straightening their backbones. Like their pioneer ancestors, they are proud and resilient and will rebuild their town. Piece by piece they will begin anew and face the hard days ahead with faith and strength.They will take the high road, see the beauty in the clouds once more and choose to see life from the perspective of perseverance and hope. May we learn from their struggles, pray for their futures and glean much from their courage.