As I made my way from Middle Tennessee to Louisville, Kentucky yesterday morning, the clouds were very dark and hung low all around me. There was a stillness in the air despite the strong winds that blew my vehicle across the road like it was a matchbox car. There was little traffic on the road and a sense of loneliness as I traveled. I continued driving and stared out across the maize colored fields dotted with the occasional tree or livestock. I made a stop at a local rest area and as I stepped out of my vehicle I looked up and watched the clouds swirl at amazing swiftness above me, not even the birds made a sound.
As I made my way down the interstate, giant raindrops violently hit my windshield and inches of water seemed to cover the highway. I looked all around me and realized I was surrounded by the longest and brightest lightning bolts I’d ever seem. They descended from the dark clouds above and made their way down striking the earth in a sinister rhythmic pattern. I soon approached a car that had hydroplaned and smashed into the nearby guardrail. The driver stood outside of his car surveying the damage while police documented the situation. There were moments where one side of the sky would appear ominous and unforgiving while the flip side would reveal a warm bright light shining straight from the heavens; as a beacon to guide me down the road. I made it to my destination, the storm bypassed me, yet many did not.
Over the course of Wednesday and Thursday, our brothers and sisters were affected in ways they never imagined by a storm they never thought would cross their path. We lost 2 neighbors in Cumberland County and 1 in DeKalb county. In Greenville, KY, the roof off a middle school was torn off and landed in a nearby football field with not a child harmed inside. They had just been evacuated and were safely huddled in the building as the storm struck. In Kentucky, a man’s mobile home was lifted off the ground and tossed down a hillside where he landed safely and sustained a few cuts needing stitches. He said, “He was thankful to see another day.” In total, from Wednesday to Thursday, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri and Illinois encountered torrential rains, damaging winds and tornado touchdowns which resulted in 13 lives lost.
The Salvation Army is on site in all of the affected areas providing meals and most importantly prayer and emotional/spiritual counseling. Please continue to keep our neighbors in your prayers. If you wish to donate to our relief efforts, you can text the word “SANow” to 80888 for a $10 donation or you can call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or visit our Disaster Services website! Remember, 100% of what you donate to disaster services goes to disaster services!
Amidst the chaos and loss a damaging storm can bring, we need to remember that although we may be surrounded by the devastation, we are covered in his Love. God is there to help us pick up the pieces of our lives and find the peace we need to carry on in our hearts. He will strengthen us, guide us and enable us to push through because we now have our own story to tell; a personal testimony to share with others.