never forget

I went to Joplin yesterday. What I was expecting, I wasn't sure, but I knew that it would be an experience I'd never forget.


Spawled in the backseat, I passed the time reading and photographed the Oklahoma farmland that whizzed by. I tried, unsuccessfully, to mentally prepare myself for what I was about to see, but my heart just pounded in a mixture of anticipation and dread instead.


For the exception of a few downed tree limbs, the town looked normal as we drove up to the church to drop off the trailer of supplies we brought. But then, peering down the road, we saw a different sight. The trees, leafy and green, that lined the road suddenly changed into gnarled, twisted messes, void of leaves and bark. Transformed from tall and majestic to broken and barren, they stood out against the rubble. 


We switched to an ATV and drove around the neighborhoods, offering Gatorade to thirsty workers sifting through the destruction. Address were spray painted on homes and street names were on the asphalt as all the street signs were gone.

Houses and buildings were just unrecognizable twisted piles of metal and wood. Lone closets rose out of the debris, clothes still hanging perfectly on their hangers. 


I wasn't prepared for how severe the damage still was three weeks later. The tornado wreaked such havoc, transforming people's lives in a mere fifteen minutes. While watching this video, recorded in the heart of the storm, my stomach churned and my breath came in short puffs.

never forget [167/365]

While watching the tornado destroy and take lives, seeing the aftermath with my own eyes, I had no words, but I was incredible humbled. I was so acutely aware of all I've been blessed with, things that I take for granted every day. A home. A bed. Family. Life.


Please, please, please pray for all the tornado victims -- they need it so very badly. And let us never forget how richly we're blessed.


PS guest posting over here today!