What happened in Oklahoma over the past few days is a tragedy. It's a natural disaster of incredible proportions. The deaths of so many, especially the kids, is hard to comprehend. My daughter took it hard, the news of children dying. This one is harder to explain compared to the tragedy in Connecticut, which was caused by an individual; an evil bad man. This time it was Mother Nature. Some may even say that, since God created the world, and He made the tornadoes, then He killed all those people. As a Christ-follower, I know better, but kids find it hard to understand. It's more black and white.
I passed through Moore, OK, several times over the past 6 years or so. I remember it just as a bunch of exits off the interstate between Oklahoma City and Norman, the location of many car dealerships, restaurants, and a really cool movie theater. I never stopped there, though. My business was in OK City and in Norman. Then I would fly home. But I have colleagues and employees who live in Moore. Some have had their lives altered forever. One died, a contractor in our organization. Another broke both legs. Four others lost their homes and everything they owned. Those are just the ones I have a connection to. So many others, especially those poor parents who lost their children in the school, also experienced loss.
I used to date a young lady who lived in Oklahoma City. Our relationship was quite serious. Romantic. Passionate. We were truly in love. Both of us had a personal relationship with Christ, and we felt He was directing us towards marriage. Except.... I told her early on that I could not live in Oklahoma. There are a myriad of reasons why, most importantly because I didn't want to take my daughter away from all or our family, but also because it was so far from everything I knew. I grew up on the East Coast. I had no desire to live in the middle of the whole country. Besides all that, it was in the middle of Tornado Alley. I had always been fascinated by tornadoes as a force of nature, and that fascination led to a bit of fear, as well. Tornadoes are dangerous. I just couldn't move there. The only way our relationship would work is if she moved to Maryland. She agreed. She was originally from Nebraska and though Oklahoma felt like home to her, she told me she would move. I wish she had been honest with me. Seven months later, we had a nasty breakup due in part because she lied to me about moving here to Maryland. Oklahoma was her home, she said, and she just couldn't understand why I didn't want to live there.
I've been trying to stay positive today in the face of this tragedy. It's a lot easier to say, "Look at all of the lives that were saved." Yeah, it could've been a lot worse. But that doesn't make anyone who experienced loss on any level feel any better. It was a tragedy, plain and simple. I will be praying for all of the families and colleagues in Oklahoma impacted by this disaster. May God's blessings be on them all.