Picking up the pieces

February 8, 2008 — 1 Comment

Photo by Kristen Nicole Sayres / commercialappeal.com



Photo by Kim Odom / The Commercial AppealOne never knows when disaster will strike. Even with the many advances in technology, weather forecasting, and early warning systems, the fury of mother nature sometimes comes seemingly from nowhere — and with very little notice at all.

Such was the case in many of the locales affected by Tuesday’s killer storms that wrecked havoc across the South. The pictures are incredible. . . the stories, riveting. In just seconds, storms like these can alter life in ways that transcend comprehension.

I have always been fascinated by weather, even aspiring for several years to study meteorology. Instead, I married someone whose father was an Air Force meteorologist — so I still get something of an inside track when it comes to understanding how it all works.

There’s something powerful about weather. There’s the sheer scope of it . . . the intensity of it . . . and the rapid change of it. But there’s something else too. Weather, when it strikes like it did on Tuesday, becomes a great equalizer. Mother Nature is no respecter of persons. People of every race and color, every religious group, every social status, and every income level were affected by these storms.

One young man, whose one-year-old son is a leukemia patient at St. Jude Hospital in Memphis, was actually at Hickory Ridge Mall when the tornado struck there, causing catastrophic damage. Fortunately, he was not injured, although his car wasn’t so lucky. Our family has been praying for this family for a number of months now, and it just becomes so personal when you know people who are impacted.

As I searched through the headlines seeking information about the damage on Tuesday night, I found something very disturbing indeed. People were leaving comments on the message boards at abcnews.com expressing their joy that God had poured out His wrath on the evangelical Christians who dared to support Mike Huckabee in the primaries. Although I have not yet committed to any particular candidate (and may not, for that matter), my heart sank when I saw how cold people can be in the midst of others’ pain.

As the victims begin to pick up the pieces and re-organize life in an effort to move forward, I urge you to pray for them. For the most part, our lives were hardly affected by these storms. For them, there was loss of possessions, loss of homes, and even loss of life.

For those who were so boorish as to gloat in the suffering of others, my prayer is for God’s mercy — because I have none to offer them.

To my friends who are alumni of Union University, be assured of the prayers of many for the entire Union family and all of Jackson, TN.

May we each live every day to the fullest . . . loving, giving, and sharing. You never know when it will be your turn to pick up the pieces of a shattered life.

One response to Picking up the pieces

    Marilyn Riordan February 9, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    Garrick, you are so right. We never know when disaster will strike–be it a storm or an illness or an accident. We must trust the Lord “Through It All,” as Andre Crouch once sang.

    Our family is very well versed in this, as you know, and we are striving to pick up the pieces of our lives and move forward in the Lord’s will.

    Bless you and your family for your ministry. Enjoy reading your expressions and insights.

    Love in Christ.

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