A Real Act of God in Joplin, Missouri

What happened in Joplin, MO was not an Act of God.  It was a natural act of nature.  The storm came about because the weather patterns were right, but it would have happened there with or without the town of Joplin in its path.  The Act of God is was what came later.

Joplin will never be the same.  Our hearts are broken, but not our spirit.  I am standing on Range Line road looking at what was my town.  I see where the Academy Sports used to stand and near it our favorite pizza place, Pizza By Stout.  Behind me the remains of Home Depot.  It is hard to tell where you are as you survey the area.  There are no more street signs, all the familiar landmarks are gone.  As a good friend of mine, Elidia says, "It is all disappeared."  It is not what we all remember at all. 



While I look out, I think of the people who will never be there again as well.  You know those people who you see everyday at the stores, the ones who greeted you with a smile and were always there to help with a great attitude and a servants heart?  Picture them in your mind.  You may not know their names but some of those special people are no longer here. 

For some of us, it is family and loved ones who were lost and you can just feel the pain of the entire community.  Our hearts throb and ache as one.  The tension is absolutely palpable.  Not a soul here could begin to describe the pain and the anxiety we have all lived with and tried to sleep with at night. 

When the rain comes again fear wells up in all our hearts.  Will the storm come again?  The storms people once ignored that roll through our area regularly are now a source of grave concern.  There is a kind of hyper-sensitivity everywhere. 

When I look at all these things, I think of how this simple, normal act of mother nature has  destroyed our way of life and touched all of us.

However, when I look at how we reacted as a community I see the Act of God.  People from every surrounding community descended on Joplin.  They hurt when we hurt and lent that shoulder of support we all needed.  They cried with us and worked side by side with us.

I was lucky enough to be involved  recently in a feed, one of many that happened here.  We cooked and served food to survivors, rescue workers, and volunteers.  My company was very generous and the people I work with astounded me with their goodness and desire to help.  We reached out and touched a lot of people that day.

When you look into the eyes of someone who has lost everything, and tell them you are here for them and you care, that is where you see God.  When you hand someone a much needed drink of water, that is where you see your Act of God.  When you are crying together as a community and loving each other, that is an Act of God. 

So, I say the storm was not an Act of God.  What happened after the storm was an Act of God.  What we will continue to see as time passes and the re-building of our community inside and out, that is the Act of God.  We are a very lucky town, mother nature can not defeat us, we have God on our side.  Joplin will be fine, but thanks for your prayers.

Heather Carlton lives in a suburb of Joplin.
What happened in Joplin, MO was not an Act of God.  It was a natural act of nature.  The storm came about because the weather patterns were right, but it would have happened there with or without the town of Joplin in its path.  The Act of God is was what came later.

Joplin will never be the same.  Our hearts are broken, but not our spirit.  I am standing on Range Line road looking at what was my town.  I see where the Academy Sports used to stand and near it our favorite pizza place, Pizza By Stout.  Behind me the remains of Home Depot.  It is hard to tell where you are as you survey the area.  There are no more street signs, all the familiar landmarks are gone.  As a good friend of mine, Elidia says, "It is all disappeared."  It is not what we all remember at all. 



While I look out, I think of the people who will never be there again as well.  You know those people who you see everyday at the stores, the ones who greeted you with a smile and were always there to help with a great attitude and a servants heart?  Picture them in your mind.  You may not know their names but some of those special people are no longer here. 

For some of us, it is family and loved ones who were lost and you can just feel the pain of the entire community.  Our hearts throb and ache as one.  The tension is absolutely palpable.  Not a soul here could begin to describe the pain and the anxiety we have all lived with and tried to sleep with at night. 

When the rain comes again fear wells up in all our hearts.  Will the storm come again?  The storms people once ignored that roll through our area regularly are now a source of grave concern.  There is a kind of hyper-sensitivity everywhere. 

When I look at all these things, I think of how this simple, normal act of mother nature has  destroyed our way of life and touched all of us.

However, when I look at how we reacted as a community I see the Act of God.  People from every surrounding community descended on Joplin.  They hurt when we hurt and lent that shoulder of support we all needed.  They cried with us and worked side by side with us.

I was lucky enough to be involved  recently in a feed, one of many that happened here.  We cooked and served food to survivors, rescue workers, and volunteers.  My company was very generous and the people I work with astounded me with their goodness and desire to help.  We reached out and touched a lot of people that day.

When you look into the eyes of someone who has lost everything, and tell them you are here for them and you care, that is where you see God.  When you hand someone a much needed drink of water, that is where you see your Act of God.  When you are crying together as a community and loving each other, that is an Act of God. 

So, I say the storm was not an Act of God.  What happened after the storm was an Act of God.  What we will continue to see as time passes and the re-building of our community inside and out, that is the Act of God.  We are a very lucky town, mother nature can not defeat us, we have God on our side.  Joplin will be fine, but thanks for your prayers.

Heather Carlton lives in a suburb of Joplin.

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