Yesterday was one of those days that I will remember for the rest of my life. There is no single word that can express my sentiments about the events that transpired yesterday. I truly ran the gammot of emotions: sadness, excitement, fear, heartache and sheer awe at the amazing power of a single storm. It really is a humbling experience to stand before the mouth of a storm and know that at any minute the clouds could part and a seemingly harmless thunderstorm transform into a deadly cyclone.
The evidence of this is found in the quaint town of Greensburg, Kansas that we visited yesterday morning. This town was devastated by an F5 tornado in May of 2007. The destruction was nearly total for this already dying town. However, the tiny population of Greensburg banded together to begin rebuilding an entirely “green” community. What they have been able to accomplish in four short years was amazing, but it was not without help.
Ruth Anne, a woman who worked at the Greensburg Museum told our class about the long cleanup process and the still ongoing rebuilding process. It was heartbreaking to hear her relive the terror of the storm while walking us through photos of the aftermath. And yet, there was a ray of light at the end of the tunnel as she told us all of the positive things that had come from the storm. The community was brought closer together, each man brought to their lowest point. They strived to create a better more eco-friendly community and now they have the chance to do it from the ground up. God really does work through all situations.
As I stood gazing at the clouds swirling overhead, the grays, purples, and blacks mingling with the colors of the sunset, I was reminded of the breathetakingly beautiful scenery I am surrounded by daily. Often times, I am in too much of a rush to pause for even the slightest moment and notice the hues of a sunset or the ripple of the waves on the ocean. My God, the one I call Father, has created beauty everywhere I look. This trip has truly opened my eyes to that beauty more so than I have ever been consciously aware of before. So I didn’t see a tornado. I don’t care. This trip has been an absolutely amazing experience and I will carry these experiences with me for the rest of my life.