“Here today, gone tomorrow” is a phrase we bandy about frequently in our society. It applies to little things like the camera we had planned to buy last night- in the store three weeks ago, but now “discontinued” and gone. It applies to those folded papers in our wallet, especially as we drive away from the gas pump. We even use the term to describe how we sometimes feel about our children as they grow up far too quickly.
However, it is heartbreaking to have to apply the term to a community. The Bible warns us that our time on earth is limited, but we seldom take heed. And though the possibility of death and destruction is always in the back of our mind, we usually imagine it happening “somewhere else”…until it doesn’t, until it happens in our own back yard.
Gary and I watched as the storm front tracking across the graphic on our television became a reality and we could track it out our front window. Though at one point our little hill was actually basked in bright sunlight, the northern horizon was completely black and ominous. We lived four miles north of Caddo for thirteen years- we could visualize the path of destruction. And then it became a reality on the news. Death. Injuries. Homes gone. The school destroyed. Tushka- there the day before. Gone now…
It will take tremendous courage and faith for many families to go forward from here, especially those who have lost loved ones. The pains of last night will not soon be forgotten. I hope you will join me in praying for those who are hurt and grieving.
For those with property damages who are in need of hope and strength during the coming weeks I encourage you to look to our region’s past. Many of our communities have been damaged and destroyed in the past by storms, fires, and floods. The people of the area, along with friends and family from throughout the country, have joined together to repair, rebuild, and restore. My faith tells me that the good people of Atoka and Bryan counties will work together to help their neighbors once again.