Friday, May 27, 2011


It's said that a picture speaks a thousand words. It stills a moment in time and allows others to emotionally connect with the event.

excitement. joy. laughter.  
fear. anger. despair.  
hope. faith. peace.  

And then there is reality.  A panoramic, 360 degree view that makes your heart race and leaves you speechless.

The recent tornado damage in our state moves me to tears. I can't imagine the heartache of families who lost their loved ones, homes and livelihood.  When an opportunity arose for Eric and I to join our church in a day trip to Tuscaloosa, we were eager to help.  It was a great privilege to work alongside 18 other volunteers and clear debris in Ms. Beverly's yard. 

Seeing the devastation in person was truly life changing. The historic neighborhood, once shaded by beautiful trees, now bakes in the sun, illuminating the quiet chaos of a desolate street. Ms. Beverly survived the storm in a tiny hallway, while her bedroom was sucked away, the top floor seemingly disappeared and her entire home was littered with insulation. 

It was only by the grace of God.

Ms. Beverly's home was destroyed by fire just five years ago. She rebuilt then and says she will rebuild again. I was struck by her smile as she discussed such things; her hope for the future, her faith in God's goodness, her peace despite the pain. And I pray that her peace remains. 

*all photos of our time in Tuscaloosa by Kevin Johnson.
**for opportunities to help, please visit Hands on Birmingham or contact your local church.

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