Thursday, May 10, 2007

Building Hope

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 re
duced 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. Li
ke 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.


Anonymous said...

Hello, Thanks for the comment, I enjoy reading too.

martie said...

The devastation that these people have endured makes me apprecite all that I have even more! I wonder if I would have the perservence and faith to go on in the face of such a catastrophe!

Hugs, and Happy Mother's Day to you!

alan said...

Tears of happiness at finally finding words from you here! I was so worried I tried to e-mail you using your Yahoo nick...apparently that didn't work, lol!

Perspective...the silver lining of my cloud being someone else's whirlwind!

Glad you and yours escatped!

I can't thank you and your hubby enough for trying to help!


Slone said...

wonderful photos. Prayers for the folks of Greensburg.

And a Happy Mothers Day to you!

John-Michael said...

Equal to the splendor of the images ... your words paint a portrait of the heart that permitted me a "scenic overlook" beside my path of life today. I thank you for calling this "favorite" to my attention, just as I am grateful to David McMahon for bringing you to my awareness.
(and I love your recollection of "It takes a Heap of Livin'... gave me a smile!)

Anita said...

Thank you for the beautiful post. Those of us here in Greensburg have marveled at the support and prayers offered by our fellow humans in an age where human kindness is dwindling...