By Brenda Black
Words won't come this week, as I scour my brain for just the right turn of a phrase to express my deepest sorrow for people harmed, homes demolished, jobs lost, and lives ended or altered in the span of ten minutes on a Sunday night in Southwest Missouri. So let my words be few and what is needed arrive in plenty. Hands, help, blood, money, spare rooms, a drink of water and unending prayer are all critically necessary for the tornado victims shocked, stranded, worried, wounded and bereaved.
In the wake of such horrific devastation, it is hard to know where to begin and even more uncertain just how long it will take for the nightmare to end. My words mean so little at such a time as this, but I know the Word of God is powerful and true and when it goes forth it is life. It is help and hope and a refuge in times of trouble. May the words of Scripture from the Holy Bible minister to the masses and bolster courage and peace and joy in the days ahead. May victims be comforted and volunteers be motivated to persevere and overcome such tragedy. May the Word bring blessings upon neighbors and friends – those who are now homeless and the public servants rushing to their aid.
“I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold...
“The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.” (Psalm 18:1-6)
Even when our words seem feeble, God hears the heart's plea. If those overwhelmed by unimaginable fear cry out to Him, He will hear. For God cares not how simple or magnanimous the vernacular, He listens for the broken and searching and He longs to draw near.
I pray that people turn to God for help in this time of trouble for He alone can rescue. He alone can save. And may the Lord send the hands and feet of humanity to touch the lives of those so desperately in need of his mercies.
Dear God, help us wait in hope for You - our help and our shield. In You, may hearts rejoice for the lives that were spared and the help that you send. Teach us to trust in Your holy name always – in good times and bad. “May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.” (Ps. 33:20-22 vs 20-21 paraphrased)
You may be the answer to someone's prayer. Here's how you can help: Visit http://technolog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/05/23/6700666-joplin-tornado-how-to-help for an extensive list of reputable networks and agencies and volunteer programs managing donations, volunteers, animal rescue, medical assistance and communication for disaster relief in Missouri.