My heart was pounding as I quickly laced up my shoes, shouting to my son that there was a tornado heading our way. My husband grabbed dirt bike helmets for our protection while my son stripped his bed and placed the mattress in the hallway.
Out our west window, we could see a black sky and debris in the air. The voices on the television reported, “Tornado on the ground at 300 near Pinnacle Mountain.”
We would learn later that the Arkansas tornado passed within a couple miles of us.
This was familiar—the same scenario happened three years ago to the day. After that tornado in 2011, I remember my friend Kristin telling me they watched the tornado cross Lake Maumelle and it nearly headed straight toward them.
This time, the tornado that passed by my home would not alter it’s course as it neared Kristin’s home. Instead it headed straight to them—and they saw it coming. The scene played out with a precious family and their pets huddled in a storm shelter, as Kristin’s courageous husband, Dan, calmed the storm brewing in their hearts by reminding all of them what really matters. And what did not matter to this family was rapidly being destroyed above their huddled heads and being blown away like chaff.
When silence filled the air, they broke through the rubble barricading their cocoon of safety and bore witness to the fact that their home was no more. The neighborhood they once called home was reduced to rubble and their worldly possessions gone.
When I didn’t know their condition, I prayed; when she texted me, I praised. Grateful for the lives spared and the prayers answered.
Many others have lost much and heartbreakingly many have lost loved ones. We mourn with those who mourn.
My desire is to do something to help my dear friend Kristin.