Oklahoma is beyond description. Beyond imagination. The loss. The destruction. The human stories. Compassion. Courage. Everything we love about being human comes into play in the midst of a disaster. Families and friends. Strangers helping strangers. Everything is local in a tragedy. Nothing is theoretical. One step. And then another. And then another. Getting up. Cleaning up. Going forward.
It’s a waste of time to compare one tragedy to another. Is an Oklahoma tornado more horrific than a Boston Marathon bombing? Is a Boston Marathon bombing worse than a factory collapse in Bangladesh? Losing everything is losing everything. Suffering is suffering. And heartache is heartache. It strikes me today that at some point everyone has to start over in life, and while starting over is never easy, it’s always possible. It’s the “possible” that matters most.
Take a Breath today. A Bible passage declares, “With God all things are possible.” That doesn’t mean God wipes away the past, anymore than God stops a storm or a bombing or a factory from collapsing. It simply means that starting over is possible. Always possible. Life after the death. Life after the divorce. Life after the surgery. Life after the storm. At some point everyone has to find life after something.
Many years ago I wrote this prayer in one of my journals: “I know where I’ve been. I’m not sure where I’m going. O God, help me.” Perhaps you would like to pray it today, too. Whoever you are. Whatever you are facing. “I know where I’ve been. I’m not sure where I’m going. O God, help me.” I feel certain that people in Oklahoma, in their own way, with their own kind of tears, are praying the same prayer.