Saturday, May 17, 2014

Get in the Basement, NOW!

The farmer's I know are a tough and resilient lot, not given to lengthy speeches, so when they utter a command like, "Get in the basement, NOW!" it is the wise person that obeys. My neighbor's family undoubtedly heard something similar the other afternoon, all obeyed, and all were survived a direct hit from a tornado.

the scene two days later
This is the scene two days later when I arrived to help in the clean up. I was dumbfounded by the destruction and the intense activity involved in the cleanup. It touches my emotions to see a community marshal so many resources in such a short period of time to help a neighbor in need.
I don't know who, but it was obvious that someone that knew how to organize people was leading the cleanup effort.

A food tent was established

A parking area was cleaned and established

Heavy equipment and many hands were hard at it
I observed no sign of law enforcement to maintain order. No one obviously directing traffic. No one driving by to watch. No one (except me) taking pictures. Just a beehive of people doing stuff. If anyone were to be caught looting they are to be pitied among men.

This was a farmstead two days ago

71 years it took to build

One moment to destroy
I noticed that everything a man had built over a lifetime was gone, but the land that has sustained him remains. How fleeting is the work of our hands.

Skill and training are needed to remove grain from damaged structures safely

shinny grain bins are part of a farms beauty and pride

a year's worth of work is stored inside
This is not how you are suppose to move a "wet holding" bin

Trucks, power, cranes, driveways, it all came together

Wonder how that got there?
As I spoke with the two farmer's that call this sight "home", two generations working together, I was struck by their gentle, humble, and peaceful recognition that life goes on.

The verse in Ecclesiastes 3 comes to mind "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,......I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That every man may eat and drink, an find satisfaction in all his toil-this is the gift of God. .....".

There is also the story of how Job responded to the devastation that befell his family and property, a wealthy man wiped out in a single day, Job 1:20 "...Then he fell to the ground in worship and said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised."

These are not men to preach scripture to you, or lecture it in the streets, but they communicated their deep faith and understanding of life simply in their living and fortitude. The crowd that showed up in their time of need is testimony to how clearly they have lived among their neighbors. This is the stuff that makes a farm community and makes me proud to be a part of it.

On behalf of the families struck by this disaster I want to say "Thank you!" to the community that showed up helped and cared. It is this acting together that makes a person feel safe, secure, and at home. Thank you to everyone.

1 comment: