With all the Doppler radar, Vipir HD images, red and green rotation indicators, and technology we had in operation, all we could do was watch helplessly as storms ripped apart many lives and brought some to an untimely end.
There are no clear-cut philosophical or theological explanations that seem sufficient to explain why the storms spared Jessamine County and devastated Magoffin County. We were spared; they were not.
Some call violent weather an “act of God.” I think that is a misnomer. I don’t personally believe God chose where the storm would strike. In my theology, God loves us all just as much. Some misery is bound to come to us all sooner or later — that is the way life is in this world. It could just as easily have been our homes and businesses that had been torn apart.
My response has been overwhelming thankfulness. It’s natural to feel relief that we were spared the suffering that has come to our neighbors a few counties away. I feel as undeserving of my comforts as they are of their misery.
In his sermon Sunday, my pastor-husband said, “Let me tell you the answer you should give when people ask why God let this happen.” He paused, tantalizingly. “The answer is… ‘I don’t know.’” There are just some things we can’t know, and it’s best when we admit it. I also understand why some people look at the events of this past week and say there is no God. I disagree, but I understand.
What is more clear-cut is what those of us untouched by the storms should do now.
No matter your religion, or lack thereof, it is incumbent upon us as fellow human beings to do all we can to help storm victims. We need to help until it hurts a little. Sacrificial giving is the only appropriate response when faced with such devastating need.
I volunteered with the Salvation Army after a tornado leveled Stamping Ground in 1974. I’ll never forget how it changed my life to be with the survivors. I could never again be callous or indifferent to the pain of people who had lost everything. It was a transformational experience.
So, my fellow Jessamine County residents, it’s time that we show our spirit by donating money, supplies and time to do what we can to lend aid to those nearby who need it.
Perhaps Alice Hoffman had it right about the weather, but we can at least let our neighbors know that she might have been partly wrong about one thing — they can be sure of our love.