In the aftermath of the tornado outbreak in April, I watched the images of destruction flicker across the TV screen. The shell-shocked look on people’s faces, the enormity of rubble, the immense suffering of loss-the pain and ugliness of it all is hard to grasp. One day life is normal with all the routines in motion, and then in a moment’s time nothing matters anymore except life itself. How grateful one escaped still breathing.
So, what’s left- the clothes on the back, if that. But one lives on….No doubt, many experience intense pain and will continue to suffer physically and emotionally. When the very “thing” upon which we exist, i.e., the earth, is destroyed and everything man-made goes with it, the mind can go into a tail-spin. Simply put, it can be beyond one’s coping abilities. Taking the next step to meet the challenges of rebuilding requires a supportive community.
And, that supportive community enlarges based on the size of the devastation. In these cases, it takes more than just the village- it takes a nation or a globe of large hearts. I ask myself the big question: where and how can I help? Volunteer, give donations, counseling, rebuild- there are lots of needs. If you are asking yourself the same question and don’t know where to begin check with the American Red Cross and your own faith community.
God created the seven Universal Laws within which we go through life, and one of those laws is the Law of Polarity- the law of opposites. Experiencing opposites is what living entails. If we didn’t have sorrow we wouldn’t have joy; if we didn’t have tears we wouldn’t have laughter; if we didn’t have fear we wouldn’t have love; and if we didn’t have death we wouldn’t have resurrection.
So, I look for opposites in the wake of the tornado outbreak tragedy. I’ve heard stories of self sacrifice to save a neighbor, and I see videos of strangers helping strangers instead of ignoring them. Now, surrounded by the ugliness of debris and devastation we will soon know natural beauty on another level when it is recreated.
After we have helped these southern folks get back on their feet with their basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing met, remember ways to bring back the natural beauty in their lives. Send a plant to a friend, or help re-landscape someone’s yard. Gazing upon nature’s beauty is an application of balm to the wounded heart.
For a Tuscaloosa relief tee shirt where all proceeds go to the recovery effort click here .