Wednesday, June 4, 2008

 That which can not be replaced is of immeasurable value

In this post I talked about the tornado that devastated the small town my parents and sister lived in. Since writing that post I have heard more details, saw video of the storm, had more time to think, and have come to a greater understanding of how beyond blessed and fortunate we all are. It has now been 10 days since the EF5 tornado ravaged it's insane demolition on the small towns in the area where I grew up. My understanding is that the tornado itself was at least a mile wide with 200 mph winds. It was not discriminating in it's selection of destruction. It appears that any thing in the path was wiped out. Either severely displaced, or just gone. I was okay as I processed the images and information in the days following the storm. There were still alot of unknowns, but I thought my parent's were going to be able to salvage alot of their stuff. I talked to my mom, briefly, a couple hours after the storm. After that I wasn't able to get a hold of her again until several days later. I was okay as I began to see more photo evidence of the storms damage. I started to crumble a bit when I saw some coverage of the storm on our local news. I lost it when I saw one particular picture which had a powerful affect on me. It grabbed me and give me a moments pause. A photo of rubble and debris every where was highlighted by a simple make shift sign made out of ply wood. Spray painted on the sign was the name of my parent's street. It was then that I began to realize the extent of miracles which God had performed that night. My parents don't have a basement. A large portion of their roof was gone. They were okay. I didn't know how much I needed to talk to my mom until I picked up my phone and heard her voice on the other end of the line a few days later. I hadn't realized how much tension had been building in me until I finally heard her sweet voice. I felt this relief inside of me, like I had been holding my breath until that moment. If you've read this post you know how I feel about my mom. She's wonderful! As she was talking to me over the phone I felt a certain peace returning. She has that affect on people. I knew we were all going to be okay. That a new normal was on it's way. As she began informing me of the extent of the damage done to their home and their things I couldn't believe how calm she sounded. She talked about the storm, the immeasurable harm done, and their relief at having each other. I found out that they lost much more than I originally thought. As far as material possessions go, it sounds like it was almost a complete loss. And then through her words and that still small voice, which often interrupts my own thoughts, the truth of the matter hit me. Things just don't matter after you've been through something this traumatic. Her wisdom filled words spoke of a deep thankfulness for lives that were saved. They saw some horrible things and they have alot to work through as they process the shock and distress of what happened, but they have a gift. They have been given a chance to appreciate life to a higher degree . To take hold of a profound definition of what really matters. God showed them how very important they really are. They have a purpose and are still needed here for many reasons. They know where their real treasure is. I have also been given a gift. I have my parents and sister. I had them before, but did I really appreciate what I had? My mom's sweet smile, her companion cup of tea, always with her, until she loses it. :) My dad's difficult to express, but obvious caring for his family. There is no clear memory in my mental files of a specific time where I have looked my dad in the eye and simply said, "I love you". Do they know how much they mean to me? Even though we have our differences, they are the ones who will forever be my beginning. Where I learned to laugh, to love, to share. My sister and I have been separated by time, distance, and choices, but she has always been an important part of my life as well. My big sister who always had an immaculate room which housed so many treasures. I have countless memories of her when we were young; babysitting my siblings and I, teaching us games, showing me how to write calligraphy, playing the piano. We've had so much fun! Life happens and sometimes you get so caught up in your own little corner of the world that you can forget the importance of those who helped shape who you are. God, I don't ever want to take for granted those who are priceless treasures in my life! Thank you seems so inadequate in light of this most recent opportunity to glimpse your power. You are great! Thank you for your gifts to us all... "Your treasure in heaven will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near, and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is there your heart will be also." Luke 12:33 I'm hugging my boys and husband a little tighter and alot more frequently today. The little belly bulge is bringing a genuine smile to my face. They are my real. My Bible has been put in an area which will be easier to access. This is my truth. My forever. Learning to adjust my focus. Letting go of things that don't matter...

7 comments:

Rachel said...

A wonderful reminder. So many things in my life these days seem to be telling me to enjoy the time I have with the ones I love, the tornado, Bring the Rain, Steven Curtis Chapman, and even just the songs God brings into my head. Perhaps it is the pessimist in me but I wonder is God trying to prepare me for something? Or perhaps he is just reminding me to treasure life. God has given me so much good. How could I ask for More?

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

I AMEN everything in your post :)

Sarah M. said...

As I have surveyed the damage and observed the clean up process following the tornado, I keep telling myself, "This is why we have insurance. They will pay to put things back together." But I found out today there are some who's coverage, unbeknown to them, covers only 1/4-1/2 of their property loss. Many not effected are checking their coverage.
I am thankful for the ways God reminds us of the truely important things!

Amanda said...

wendi...i am so thankful that we somehow stumbled across one another in blog-land. i know my posts haven't been as "deep" or "revealing" lately, but i so resonate with where you are and what God is teaching you...my heart has been encouraged by your vulnerability...you bring the Word of Truth before my eyes so regularly...THANK YOU!

Leslie said...

so praying for you, I was part of a tornadoe years and years ago, but it really did shake me up.. its amazing how fragile everything feels, thinking of you and your family as they put back the peices.

Sarah M. said...

P.S. I was in a friends house today and this was painted on one of the walls:
" The things that matter most are not things."

Becoming Me said...

Such a beautiful, beautiful post. I once had a friend offer to let me borrow her car for the summer, when I protested she said, Angela, it's just stuff. You have a need, we won't be using it, please take it." Your mother sounds like the amazing type who would have said the same thing.