Early afternoon, sitting at the computer writing and paying bills, I was interrupted by the house alarm beeping. Tornado warning in effect until 2 PM. Then the sirens outside. A text from a relative. Tornado headed toward west Arlington. Please tell me you are taking cover. I click on the tv to hear the weather tracking and grab my three year old to take shelter. Green-gray clouds and rain swirl outside. The worried texts and calls continue. Where are you? Are you okay? It is coming up the streets near your house. I know I should be more worried than I am.
I hold my daughter close as all of the excitement of hiding, constant texts, sirens, the house alarm, and weather report weigh on her. She wants to know how long will the “tomato” last. We try to read books, but my phone keeps going off. Everyone sending prayers that we would be spared. Houses, cars and trees are being ripped open and uprooted within a mile of my house. It begins to wear on me as well.
Crouched into a secure position, blanket pulled round me, I imagined, how would it be if the oaks that tower above my house came crashing down on it, what would happen if the roof were ripped off, if the window glass was sucked from the panes by the vortex outside. I pulled the blanket tighter around me, anticipating the worst. I couldn’t imagine the moment of impact. I could only sense the after. Love and prayers of those watching and waiting with me, although there was only my daughter and I huddled close.
For us that moment didn’t come. The outcome wasn’t universal. Houses within a mile of us lost their roofs, one of the main roads to our house was littered with 50 year old trees thrown down like toys. One wing of nursing home was ripped off. 13 tornadoes created utter mayhem in a three hours in the DFW area. I wondered how it felt among the unlucky, to have things taken from you so quickly, so unfairly, so unevenly. Tornados aren’t fair. On the same street one house was splintered, while the house across the street was unscathed. Some are spared, and some are not. I wondered at the disparity.
Would I have been less watched over, less cared for if my roof was now made of blue tarping? I decided no. The spirit confirmed. While it would have been month of headaches to clean up, an insurance fiasco, and a bit traumatic, it would have been okay.
I remembered times when the ceiling has come crashing down, the floor has dropped from underneath me and I have not been spared. Some of those problems seemed insurmountable, sometimes insurance fiascoes, where I wondered how I would pick up the pieces. Yet, I was still watched over, prayed for and cared for. In those times when God let my roof be taken, it was often cold, but I caught a better view of the sky: heaven. Support, blessings and service from family, friends and church members when I’ve needed the shelter.
I am thankful I was safe this time, glad to welcome home my husband and son in the correct pieces when they came home a while later. But I am mostly grateful for the reminder to know that God is mindful of us, hears and answers prayers, even when we are not spared.
Have you been spared or not? What was your reaction?