I was in high school in May of '99. I drove through Moore shortly after it happened and saw some of the destruction first-hand. I would later meet people who had incredible stories to tell, and one who had spent the weeks following in a coma. It's always been something that happened in my home state, something I'd never forget.
This time, it's different. I'm older. I'm a parent. And, instead of living a couple hours away, I live a few miles away. This is a place I've been to so many times. I pass these people on the street. I've darkened the doors of these businesses. I have friends whose homes are destroyed. These are my neighbors.
Instead of hearing about it on the news the next morning, I turned on the TV when I heard the tornado sirens. Once we knew it was going to miss us, my husband and I watched as it grew and grew, until we lost power and cell service. My husband isn't usually home at that time of day, but he came home early knowing it was likely going to be stormy that afternoon. He had been working that day in the area where it hit hardest. He had driven right by both of the schools that were so severely damaged.
I know that "the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:18) I'm praying for these weary brokenhearted people. And, I pray that I will show them His love any chance I get.
It's also important to remember that Moore wasn't the only town in Oklahoma that was hit hard by tornadoes this week.
I couldn't be any more proud of my state right now. The way they band together in times like this is amazing. People aren't just willing to help. They sincerely, and desperately want to do all they can.