I’m looking out our front window at trees (upright), houses (intact), and cars (unmangled.) To say that I can’t imagine the chaos and destruction in Joplin and other tornado-touched places around the country is a huge understatement. I really can not imagine it. Whatsoever. At all.
I sit in my lovely home where I have toothpaste, and oatmeal, and toilets that flush and my heart goes out to the women in those devastated places who have so few belongings that they would probably be thrilled just to find a rubber band in the rubble that would enable them to pull their unwashed hair back from their faces.
As I think of them, I think of the blessings in my life here and now. The unnamed and often unnoticed blessings. They are everywhere—ephemeral and fleeting. They are also unguaranteed. No one can promised me that what (or whom) I love will still be here tomorrow. Because tragedy happens.
We had a bad storm late last night. In the blink of an eye, it could have turned into a tornado. And this morning, I could be the one rummaging through the mangled remnants of our home, looking for precious pictures, old journals, and special blankets from my children’s childhoods. Instead, I am freshly fed, freshly coiffed, and am sitting in a comfortable leather recliner next to a contented, snoozing dog. I am very aware how blessed I am. And I am very aware of my responsibility to pass the blessings along.
This past Sunday, our church received an offering for Convoy of Hope, a crisis assistance ministry that goes immediately to whatever place on the planet disaster is happening. Although I can’t travel with them to Joplin--or other ruined cities--I’m glad that the money our family gave on Sunday can. And maybe, just maybe, that check we put in the offering plate might go toward buying some oatmeal and a toothbrush for a Joplin mom who just wants to feed her family and clean up a little.
It’s so simple, really, the things that we truly need. And it’s so amazingly scary how quickly even our simplest, most precious things can be yanked away from us.
So today, I am making it a point to just be thankful for simple things. To be thankful for life. To be thankful to have a home, a family, a town, a life—all intact.
Although I certainly love my house and am thankful that it still stands strong, I’m especially thankful today that those whom I love the most---my husband and children--are alive. There are women in storm torn cities across this country who were not able to say the same as Wednesday dawned over their broken lives.
More than anything that I might ever do, or ever own, it is my family who puts the living in my life.
And I am thankful.