After the Tornado in Windsor, Colorado

free-wood.jpg As you may have already heard, we had a few tornadoes in Northern Colorado. We don’t have tornados, and really aren’t used to dealing with them. One of the areas hit the most hard was a residential area in Windsor, Colorado, about 6 miles south of where I live.

On Thursday, I was home, and heard the wind blowing hard. Soon after, it started raining, then hailing. But that was it up here. I didn’t even realize there was a tornado till my boss emailed me about it. And even then, it didn’t effect me right away. Till I realized my pastor’s house was hit, and then, I didn’t know what to think.

I’ve been through a tornado before, in Albion, Pennsylvania, many years ago, one that destroyed the downtown area. It was equally unexpected. Today, some of us from church went to help clean up our pastor’s house, and some of the surrounding area. Tornado’s are wierd, in that, a few miles away, all is fine, but in the epicenter, there is devastation. I heard about the recent devastation in Myanmar, in China, but that’s far away, distant. This is here. This suffering is here, in an area with lots of good people where it’s too easy to be complacent. Not today, not for me.

Our pastor preached today about pain, suffering, hurting, need, and how people rise up to respond to big disasters. They do. The photo at the top is of free wood given to help people bolster their houses and rebuild. Some give away water and Gaterade. Some come from cities 30-60 miles away to lend a hand. And neighbors, neighbors before only somewhat known, they help each other. This isn’t new, of course, we do help each other in situations like this, and it’s touching, as the local newspaper says, Volunteer spirit overwhelms Windsor.

But as our pastor said this morning, we respond to big things, but people suffer everyday, often unknown, sometimes not, and the outpouring of love, it doesn’t always happen. We need reminders, and sadly, it sometimes takes tragedy to remind us how fragile life is, and how much we need others.

I’ve been talking and thinking a lot about serving the poor and broken lately. My heart was affected as I served this afternoon, for I too am broken, and am not always sure what I have to offer. Today, I was there, and in the days that follow, I hope to be there again.