Tuesday, May 21, 2013

...and we are told we cannot pray in school.

(All photos used in this post were taken from Goole images and various news media.)

Massive devastation.  Scenes flash across the screen that bring tears to our eyes.  Oklahoma is dealing with so much heartache and pain, my own trials seem so small in comparison.  How do you comfort parents whose lives have been marred by grief?   How quickly so many lives changed in Moore, Oklahoma.  In a few short minutes, everything was lost.

 The very place so many children feel safe is now gone. How will they ever feel safe in school again?  Will they panic at the sight of a dark cloud?

How do you pick up the pieces when the pieces are barely recognizable?  

So many people are asking the question, where was God when all this happened?  

He was there.  He was with 6th grade teacher Rhonda Crosswhite in that school bathroom when she prayed, "God, take care of my kids."  He was there in a daycare center with a teacher who told her 3 year-olds, "We're going to hide in here, and we're going to hear a train, but when the train is gone we will get out and find your parents."  He was with the elderly lady hiding in her bathroom with her dog who disappeared from her arms when the storm hit, but was miraculously found alive under the rubble as she was interviewed by a television reporter.  Even though her house was a pile of rubble, she said, "I thought God had answered only 1 prayer, to let me live, but He answered them both.  I have my baby back."  

The news channels are flooded with stories of heroic teachers who shielded their students from debris with their own bodies.  Teachers who placed themselves in more danger to save the lives of children.  Why?  Because when they walk through those school doors they're our kids.  We (teachers) may not have given birth to each and every one, but they're ours, and we will do what we have to do to protect them.  We pray for them.  We love them.  We care what happens to them outside the hours from 7:53 to 3:08.  They're our kids, too.   Protecting those children was second nature to those teachers.  We would risk our own lives to save our kids.  I hope all parents realize this.  I hope they will understand and choose to work with the teachers rather than against us.  I hope they understand we love those kids, too.

Words aren't sufficient to express my sorrow for the families and victims of the Moore, OK tornado.  I cry for those lost, I cry for those who survive, and I pray for them all.