There’s a saying, “Ignorance is bliss”. Sometimes that’s true. Sometimes it’s easier to know what happened, what could have happened, after the fact.
The Nashville Tornado
I went to bed shortly after one of my favorite television shows Monday night. I didn’t stay up long enough to watch the news, I was too sleepy. I didn’t see the weather report about the severe storm heading towards Nashville, Tennessee, where my son lives. If I had, I can assure you, it would have been a sleepless night.
A text message from my son was the first thing I noticed when I woke up the next morning. It was sent at 2:00 in the morning, which immediately caught my attention.
The next text message was from my good friend asking if my son and his wife were ok.
My husband and I turned on the Weather Channel to see what had happened during the night and it was devastating. A large tornado had barreled through Nashville during the wee hours of the morning. My heart raced as I imagined how close the tornado had come to my son and his wife — they live between Germantown and East Nashville, two of the areas that had extensive damage.
Why Germantown and East Nashville are Special
Until his marriage in December, my son lived in a condominium in Germantown. We visited him many times, including several Thanksgivings. We have walked up and down the streets of Germantown dozens of times and enjoyed most of the restaurants. It was so strange to see the correspondent from the Weather Channel reporting in such a familiar locale.
My family spent a week in a beautiful old home in East Nashville last December, when we were in town for my son’s wedding. We arrived on Christmas Eve and left before the new year. That week, Christmas and wedding blended together and the home and neighborhood were the perfect setting. We traveled up and down the streets, driving by businesses that are now flattened. Some of the homes that were destroyed in the recent tornado are just a couple of blocks from our Christmas/Wedding house. Restaurants we love were damaged.
I’ve been following several of the restaurants in Germantown and East Nashville. My husband and I were so touched to see one of our favorite BBQ restaurants, Edley’s, serving free BBQ sandwiches to the community, even though they sustained some damage to their building. There are many other businesses and people reaching out to help those who need help after the storm. For a big city, there’s definitely a feeling of community.
All of this gave me a sense of déjà vu. You see, my son was a student at the University of Alabama in 2011 when a tornado ripped through Tuscaloosa, leaving a wide path of death and destruction. I knew that one was coming. It was in the afternoon and I was going back and forth between the Weather Channel and a show based in Birmingham. The mood was somber as they reported on the approaching storm. I can honestly say, I have never felt more helpless in my life. I knew that both of my children were in the path of that terrifying storm. You can read about that day here.
I’m thankful I didn’t know about the tornado Monday night. If I had known, I would have been on my knees praying (and probably texting my boy every five minutes). I am thankful that I found out he was safe after the worst was over.
This made me think about the storms in life, not just the weather events but other, more personal, storms. Maybe it’s a relationship gone awry, maybe it’s an injury or serious illness, maybe it’s a job loss. There are any number of storms that we face at various times in our lives.
Storms In Life
These life storms can be compared to the tornado that hit Nashville this week.
- Storms are often sudden and unexpected — even though you may have warning signs.
- Storms don’t come at opportune times.
- Storms are random.
- Storms are destructive.
- We fare best when we are prepared for possible storms.
- We may or may not come out of a storm with the outcome we hope for.
- In the storms, we learn what is most important in our lives .
- God promises to be with us through the storms.
- There is always something to be thankful for.
It is difficult to see the pictures of utter devastation in Nashville and Middle Tennessee. Our hearts break for the loss of life, and prayers go up for families left behind. But, it is so encouraging to see people reaching out to one another, neighbor lending a hand to neighbor. It is heartwarming to hear people praising God that they were safe, even though they may have lost their material possessions.
How Can I Help?
Join me in lifting up prayers for the people of Nashville. It really is a great city. My son has lived there for nearly a decade and we have grown to love it almost as much as he does. If you can, make a contribution to one of the organizations already at work helping the people of Nashville and Middle Tennessee. You can find out how to help here. Samaritan’s Purse is also providing relief.