Oklahoma

photo-1

Dear Oklahoma,

It seemed like not to long ago I felt this same pain for Sandy Hook ,the race in Boston and the explosion in West. So much to feel, but not much to say.

It was not until late afternoon that I saw the news and all that was going on in Moore. I was glued to the images. While I made snacks for my kids, you were hiding for your lives in closets and hallways. How can two things so opposite be happening simultaneously? I don’t think I will ever get used to that idea.

I pulled my 6 year old daughter and my 4 year old son around me. We sat on the floor and I told them that a bad storm had hurt some houses and people in your city. The three of us held hands together and prayed for you.

We prayed for your homes to be safe, we prayed for your neighbors to be uninjured, and we prayed for all of your children to return home. I’m pretty sure that my daughter prayed for your pets too. Everything. We prayed for everything. Simple words spoken with childlike faith.

My son looked at me after we had finished and said, “Mommy, I need to put on my Batman costume and go save those people.”

I cried. Sure, his sweet heart is enough to make a mama tear up, but mostly I cried because I wanted the same thing. I wanted to put on a cape and a mask and go save you.  Move every fallen wall & tossed aside car to pull the injured out. I wanted to save you today. To bring school children trapped under rubble back into your arms.

Right now I am in my dry, warm house. My dogs are at my feet, my pictures are hanging on my wall and my children and husband are asleep down the hallway. And I am crying hot tears because I know so many of you didn’t get the miracle you were hoping for today.

There is nothing I can do to erase the terror, put your walls back together or lessen the pain of lives lost. I can’t imagine the suffocating fear of a parent whose child was in the school. Unfortunately  some of you don’t have to imagine that pain. You are feeling it right now.

There are so many things that I can’t say. I can’t say that it will all be better tomorrow when you wake up. I can’t say that time heals everything. I can’t tell you I know what you are going through.

But I can tell you this: All across this nation there are people wishing they could put on  Batman costumes and save you from this tragedy. All across this nation people are praying & thinking of you. Hearts are aching while quietly watching television screens hoping for good news.

This is no time to discuss the theology of why things happen, but I do believe Jesus is in Moore tonight. Walking your streets & sitting with those who are grieving. He doesn’t wear a mask or cape, but He brings tremendous comfort in the midst of insurmountable pain.

I hope on this very somber night, when all your hope seems lost, that you find Him walking down your street. That you put your head on His shoulder and cry your hot tears.

While I can’t wish you sweet dreams tonight, I wish you peace. May you see miracles before your very eyes. And most of all, know that you are not alone on this stormy night.

From a mom who would give anything for a Batman costume,

Elizabeth Griffin

 

*** Want to get posts send directly to your inbox? Subscribe via email on the sidebar ***

Advertisements

57 Comments

Filed under Faith, Fire, My Life Thus Far

57 responses to “Oklahoma

  1. Suzanne

    Liz, so beautifully said. Tears streaming down my face while reading this post, but then again they have been all night already. We with all creation groans, as one who suffers birth pangs, longing for our our Savior to make all things right. We wait not without hope.

    • “We wait not without hope.” Love that Suzanne!

    • There are so many across our nation that are hurting and grieving the loss of loved ones, we must continue to keep them in our prayers. I felt the gripping terror of my 4yr old grand-daughter and her father being in the direct path of the tornado.as I watched live coverage of it advancing block by block. I prayed and prayed asking God to protect and be with them and everyone else that was in this monster’s path. I was truly blessed as It turned to the right 1 mile before reaching my loved ones. My heart is broken for those who lost their loved ones and everyone affected. The outpouring of prayers, love and aid is a testament that our society as a whole is still filled kind, loving and giving people. Your letter deeply touched my heart, thank you and thank you to all for including Oklahoma in their prayers. God Bless You.
      Kathy in OKC

      • Kathy,
        I can’t imagine what it was like watching the tornado knowing it was headed for your family. So thankful your grand-daughter was alright. I’m still praying for OKC & know there is a long road ahead for all affected.

  2. Amanda Reagan

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50147264n&tag=api

    It’s a small miracle…but one that makes me SOB with happiness every time I watch it. 🙂

  3. That expresses my heart, too. Again, thanks for putting it into words for us.

  4. We can’t thank you enough for your prayers and love.. it’s so radical and comforting to know that there are people all over the world praying over us and loving us here in Oklahoma. Your words mean more than you know.

    Thank you and God bless

    • Michelle

      I agree with Taylor 100%. And just so you know we have heard of miracles from Moore. The original number thought to be dead was 51 and the medical examiners office has change that number to 24. One is to many but certainly the difference is astounding and nothing short of a miracle

      • Michelle it is AMAZING to me that there were not more fatalities. A testimony of God’s goodness & the community’s quick efforts to locate survivors. Praying for you all & believing for LOTS of miracles!

    • Taylor, are you in the OKC area? So many people I know are carrying you all in their hearts. Let us know if we can help in any way

  5. Lolly

    This brought tears to my eyes, too. Sometimes I can’t find words to express what I feel but you did it for me. I so wish I could be there making things right. I can’t, but God can. Prayers for Oklahoma.

  6. Christine

    Thank you, from Oklahoma.

  7. Beautifully written Elizabeth. I too thank you for verbalizing what is in so many of our hearts right now. God is our help in times of trouble, isn’t He?

  8. Makayla Justice

    Thank you.. i’m 15 yrs old and I hate to see all these tragedy going. It’s so unreal… I live in Tulsa and we almost got hit by a tornado. Gladly we didn’t! But it’s heartbreaking about Moore. My prayers and thoughts are on Moore.

  9. Oddie

    This made me tear up. I was just thinking the same. Not too long ago did we mourn the loss in Boston and Texas. But I know one thing, like you said, Jesus is present in all of this.

  10. I stood in my backyard letting the rain wash away my tears as I had the news in the background and listened to the actual devastation taking place just a few miles from my home. We ALL need the prayers but… We are Proud and Strong. We are Loving and Caring, We are Resilient. We will overcome this because, we ARE Oklahoma. We know the value of helping our neighbor and accepting their offered help. the beauty of your prayer is that they know no distance, they reach each and every one of us from anywhere in the world. thank you for caring!

    • Beth, I love everything you just shared. Oklahoma has so much to be proud of. The response of the community is amazing and I know that Oklahoma will stronger than ever.

  11. Heather

    Thank you from Oklahoma. You will never know what this means to us.

    • Heather, I’m praying for Oklahoma as I know this is a long road for a community to walk. I live just about 20 minutes away from West where the explosion was a few months ago. God Bless you guys!

  12. Nancy Krause

    We have experienced these tragedies before but they never get easier. I am so overwhelmingly sad and yet also guilty because I was somehow spared when some of these people have been through this MORE than once. The part of your post that was so strikingly beautiful was your prayer for those affected to feel Jesus in their midst. I pray they do. There are many acts of kindness and strength as well as beautiful words of comfort like yours reaching out to our fellow citizens. All of them are desperately needed and appreciated. We are in this for the long haul. The immediate response tends to be awesome, but over time people not directly related tend to forget. I pray that we hold these people up until they are ready to walk on their own and face a future that has hope in it.

    • Nancy, I am so glad that you are okay. I understand what you are saying about the long haul. I live near West where the explosion was just recently. The families who lost homes & loved ones have a very long road ahead of them.

      You have a beautiful community up there in Oklahoma that is doing a tremendous job of loving their neighbors. I’ll continue praying for all who suffered & for you as well. May you love and serve those around you with Christ’s strength. God Bless.

  13. Katie

    Thank you! This is so beautifully said. I’m in Oklahoma & live about 5 miles away from where the damage is. We are OKStrong. We will get through this just as we have before. Thank you for your kind words. They mean more than you know!

    • Katie, Wow. 5 miles away. You must be experiencing so much up there right now. I have no doubt that OK will be stronger than ever. An amazing community response. Know that your community is in the hearts of all of us.

  14. Kristi Hazelrigg

    Thank you for your words of pain and hope. You have expressed yourself beautifully.

    At our elementary school in south Oklahoma City we spent yesterday afternoon sheltering students under the bleacher in the school gymnasium. The tornado that was headed directly for us veered east and missed us by about 2 miles. While I was grateful, my heart broke over and over throughout the night with every news update.

    Two years ago this month my hometown was hit by a tornado and I spent the next week pulling on my boots and my gloves and walking through fields, moving walls, tossing aside rubble, looking for anything valuable or sentimental that wasn’t shredded or mud-covered. I did not know the homeowners, but it didn’t matter. Crawling and digging was all I could do, so that’s what I did. Some of those homeowners had already given up finding anything worth keeping, and it was a tremendous blessing to be able to hand them a wallet, a money clip loaded with cash, or a photo of a family member that had been hidden by debris.

    I am ready to boot-up and head out again. If you find an extra Batman cape, send it my way, would you?

    • Kristi, I totally teared up reading your comment. I can’t imagine what it was like for you and those sweet kids under the bleachers. Moments like that are so surreal aren’t they?

      It is amazing that you have been through this twice. How powerful to be able to find a piece of something that someone had written off as lost. That must have meant so much to them.And now you are doing it again in OKC.

      Thanks for your dedication to your community. People like you are what makes this world a great place.

      I’d love to hear updates on how things are going for you all down there. Our prayers are with you!

  15. Love this! I wrote something similar this morning! Your blog is quickly becoming one of my new favorites!!!

  16. Lisa Fowler

    That was well said, I live in Oklahoma, northeast of Moore, but about 1 hour, I found a cancelled check in my front yard today, from 1994, if this tells you of the force of the storm that went through there. Thank you again, and Oklahoma is strong and will rise up!

  17. Thank you, Elizabeth. I am a mother of four from the Westmoore area. This is the second tornado of this kind we have lived through. The first time, I held my infant while my husband held my toddler. We knew it was coming straight for us and didn’t have a shelter to go to, but 1/2 mile from us, it veered a bit north and just missed us. This time the tornado missed us by 1 1/2 miles, but it was harder to weather as my husband and four kids were spread over 4 different schools in the area and I was home alone. This time I couldn’t be the one to protect my kids. This time all I could do was pray that God would be the one to protect them and hold them in His lap. I had to trust his grace alone. It proved to be much harder trusting them only to Him even though realistically there was nothing I could do to protect them in the face of such a monstrosity. At the end of the day, we all found each other and were all unharmed even though two of our schools were damaged. When you’re in the middle of it, you don’t realize how many people have heard and are praying for you. Then today as I went to volunteer with my friends at the closest relief center, semi trucks began rolling in….one after another. The people of this great state and country have come to our rescue in a big way. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of the hearts of others and we couldn’t be more grateful. This is what Christ meant when He said, “love your neighbor”. Sometimes your neighbor is a stranger you’ve never met in a town you’ve never heard of, and this stranger is grateful for your compassion and the prayers you’ve all sent our way.

    • Kenda, I wish we could grab coffee. I would love to hear more about what was going through our head and all that God taught you. So many prayers still being prayed for you guys!

  18. Eve

    Beautifully written. We missed the 1st tornado by 1 mile on Sunday that destroyed many homes, and the Moore tornado Monday was about 20-25 South of us. I couldn’t hardly read this through the tears. I think I could speak for many Oklahomas that weren’t directly effected, that our hearts aches for those that are suffering any kind of loss. The stories are touching, the description of the kids is unfathomable. My sons school prayed for them today & like many other agencies, are taking up collections. I too wished I could out on my Super Woman cape & take away some of the pain these families are feeling. One thing Oklahomans are known for is helping others in need. You defiantly can see Gods love pouring out to strangers!

  19. Andrea

    I am speechless to your post, Elizabeth. All I can say is your words were very beautiful.

    This means the world to us here in Oklahoma.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you x a million!

  20. Dixie

    You have a beautiful heart, Elizabeth. Thank you so much for your prayers, and by including your children, you have shown by example how to be a loving and gracious spirit.

    I read your letter and just cried – tears of gratitude for your caring words.

  21. Beautiful words. I live in OKC about 20 minutes from Moore. As I dropped my children off to school yesterday they all had comments of guilt that we are fine and going on with our life today and fear of more tornadoes. Our hearts grieve but are also filled with hope as we read posts like this see the outpouring of love towards those in Moore. Thank you for your post.

    • Oh my goodness. That must be so hard. Glad that your kids have an amazing mom to walk them through it. I’ll be praying for all the parents to have wisdom on how to help their kids process.

  22. Megan

    This was so beautifully written… I am an Okie, but a lucky one! It is so nice to know that thee are people everywhere praying for all the tornado victims. Thank you.

  23. Thank you for this letter. The tornado missed my home by 1 mile. My daughter and sis in law were at my home and my boys at school. Watching from work, knowing they were in harms way and not under ground was the most helpless I have ever felt. I could not reach them by phone and for the agonizing drive through hail to get to them was the longest stretch of time in my life. Your words are reassuring knowing there are those out there who are standing in the gap for so many who were not as lucky as I. Your words help carry us through such a time and we are thankful to have you thinking of us.

    • Oh my goodness. Your heart must have been bursting watching it all unfold on the news knowing that your kids could have been hurt. So thankful that they are okay. Still praying for your area and for those who suffered loss.

  24. We`re Thanking God FOR PROTECTING OUR GRANDCHILDREN… one was trapped for awhile in the rubble, but she is doing fine, the other one was in the day care center in that area… Both are alright. THANK GOD !! Our hearts go out to everyone that wasn`t so lucky. GOD BLESS YOU ALL ❤

  25. Karen Young

    I taught at one of the schools destroyed in the tornado and I KNOW God was there. There are no hallways at Briarwood. The only safety was a small bathroom with a single toilet and a sink. This sheltered a classroom of kids plus the children that were in portable building (like a large mobile home). When I saw on the news that it had been hit, I cried because I knew that hundreds were not going to make it. Yet, everyone made it out of that school. Less than a mile away, Plaza Tower lost 7 precious live, but 350 survived. I have substituted in that school. Precious, wonderful caring people that would and did put their lives on the line to save children. Friends and family lost everything, but already their needs have been met by church members and friends. Again, God is in their midst. I am in awe at the magnitude of help and how rapidly things are being restored. All I can say is FEMA can learn a lot from our Faith based FEMA. They have put on the superman cape and are throwing off the cars and moving the walls.

    • Karen, that is amazing. I didn’t know that Briarwood had such little shelter…and yet God shielded them. How amazing. And I agree the Church is amazing when we rally together.

  26. heather claxton

    this is beautiful. and the exact reason my husband and I have been in such a positive mood this week after losing our house. we live (lived I guess) on 5th street in Heatherwood in Moore and our street is just gone. but how can we be sad when we only lost stuff?? we just keep thinking about all the families who lost their loved ones and that breaks our hearts and makes us feel so helpless… people have been so wonderful asking what they can do for us and my answer is ‘prayers are appreciated and go hug your significant other and your babies.’
    faith and hugs and kissies. that’s what’s important.
    and Elizabeth, I am empathetic with you about wanting to don a cape and save everyone and everything, but that’s exactly what you and your family have been doing. prayer is the #1 most important thing any of us can do in these times! God Bless your family, and please hug your hubby and babies for me. 🙂

    • Umm… wow. Heather I am so inspired by your response to what has gone on. I’m glad you are fine but so sorry about your home.

      What you shared is such a powerful example of perspective. Thanks for sharing.

      And I did hug my hubby & kids.

      Praying for all the details you are having to work through. Housing, insurance, lost documents…may you walk in grace & favor!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s