Oklahoma On My Mind – and Heart

Heart of Oklahoma

It has been way too long since I have written here. But this morning, as I think and pray about the devastation that has hit Oklahoma… It is only appropriate to post.  Yet, what can I say?  As a former Oklahoman (I spent my Freshman & Sophomore years of high school, and my first two college Summer Breaks, in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma) this tragedy that has struck, particularly hard on the town of Moore, OK, is heartbreaking.  The videos of the Category 4  tornado (that may yet still be upgraded to Cat 5) that ripped through the town, the hospital, and the elementary school seems surreal.  It brings back to memory all the tornado drills we went through as students – events I must confess I never took too seriously, though clearly I should have.  So I write, but what can I say?

There are many reporting and commenting on this disaster. But two have struck me as offering especially proper perspective and prayer:

Sam Storms, a pastor from Oklahoma City, whom I have never met, but whom I truly appreciate, offers the simple yet importantly profound perspective, in a post he titled: Tornadoes, Tsunamis, and the Mystery of Suffering & Sovereignty.  Storms begins his post hesitantly and with seeming resignation:

I’m inclined to think the best way to respond to the tragedy that struck our community today is simply to say nothing. I have little patience for those who feel the need to theologize about such events, as if anyone possessed sufficient wisdom to discern God’s purpose. On the other hand, people will inevitably ask questions and are looking for encouragement and comfort.

But then he thoughtfully posits a handful of truths essential for us all to build a foundation capable to sustain us through such tragedies – be they our own, or vicarious ones, such as this event is for the most of us.

Mike Milton, former Chancellor of Reformed Theological Seminary, and a man I am thankful to know and appreciate, composed a prayer – a prayer I find worthy to be shared by the many who, like me, may not be able to find the words from within ourselves that we would like to offer to God and on behalf of those effected: A Prayer for the Disaster in Oklahoma