My heart is broken for the people of Oklahoma. I spent my University years in Norman, only 10 miles from Moore where the tornado devastated the community yesterday. I feel so numb as I read Facebook statuses of people in obvious shock, trying to process what has happened to them. They describe it as a war zone as their neighbours are crying in the streets, looking through the rubble for anything left of the lives they built that can still be salvaged.
What do you do? Half-way across the world I can’t join in on the clean up efforts or donate clothing to those who have lost everything. I could send a donation but it doesn’t feel like nearly enough.
Those people in the television are people I stood behind at the check-out line in Wal-Mart. They sat in my classes, walked the same halls. Those people in the television are mothers, and fathers, and grandparents, and Aunts and Uncles, and… children, of people I knew. Those tears are of friends of my friends, and it hurts. It hurts to watch. So helpless…
I don’t want to paypal them $10 so I feel better about myself, I want to hold their hands and tell them everything will be okay. I want to help them rebuild. I want to help the people of Oklahoma rise, as they have so many times before; dust them off and stand by their sides as they start again. But I can’t. And nobody will notice my absence because there will be thousands of other Oklahomans waiting to help when they wake up this morning.
My family lives in Oklahoma and thankfully they are all okay, sleeping soundly in their beds as I type this. I feel fortunate. Thousands of families lost their homes yesterdays. Many lost much more.
I know it is hard to relate to these stories sometimes when it is in a place far from your own home. While we can hurt for victims as fellow human beings, it is difficult to truly comprehend the horrors that they are living through. This time it hits very close to home for me, because it was my home.
Take a moment and send some good thoughts or prayers toward Oklahoma today. They are going to need all that they can get.