Doug Creamer: What do we do?
Most people who know me know that I am a weather fanatic. I am especially fanatical about snowstorms. I love to look at the various models and try to make my own prediction of what I think will happen. I am pretty accurate at predicting the number of days we will be out of school, or if we will get a delay. I am getting better at predicting amounts of snow, but I still miss, too.
My fascination with weather is not limited to winter storms. I also follow hurricanes. I watch storms long before they form into hurricanes and follow where the models are predicting they will go. Weather models have a difficult time pinpointing where they will hit and what their ultimate path will be. But one thing is for sure, I will be glued to my computer when hurricanes are brewing.
While I love snow and enjoy tracking hurricanes, the storm that really grabs me is a tornado. I don’t want to live through one; I have seen the pictures and they are horrifying. But the fascination with them lives deep within me. I once told a former pastor of mine from Texas that I wanted to see one. He told me that he totally understood. He said down in Texas you can be standing out in the sunshine and watch a tornado form in the clouds and come down and hit the ground. The power and images are breathtaking. He has seen them.
Let me be clear, I do not want to live through one. I remember hiding in the hallway when Hugo blew through and that was scary enough for me. Well, I will admit to going outside and standing in a protected area so I could actually stand in the storm…weather fascinates me. I have met a storm chaser, and there is a part of me, that if I knew I could be safe, would like to see a tornado. I have watched plenty of videos.
I am writing about all this because Greensboro was hit by a tornado the other day. I have family there and thankfully, they were spared. I have looked through a lot of pictures and seen that many families were not spared. A school was hit and they lost a number of mobile classrooms. That hits close to home, as I remember teaching in a mobile classroom. I can’t imagine losing all my materials. I feel bad for the teachers, students, and the families who were affected by the tornado.
I also saw that a church, Living Hope Missionary Baptist Church, lost their roof. I saw in a picture where the pulpit was standing alone on the platform. The pews look similar to the ones at my church, except theirs are now covered with insulation and other debris. The members of the congregation had come to try and pick up some things, like pictures and books. Some of the walls appeared in perfect shape, they just needed the roof back.
The question that runs through my mind is: can we do something to help our brothers and sisters who are in need? Is there another church building close by that would share their facility with this church family? I hope they have insurance to help repair and replace their lost building, but what if they don’t? What will this church family do in the meantime? Next Sunday I will get up and go to my church, but where will they go?
This kind of tragedy can occur anywhere. Sometimes there is a fire, other times it’s a storm. The result is the same. What do we do? Do churches have responsibility for sister churches when tragedies strike? What can be done when a church is down the road or across the country? This isn’t the only time a church has been affected and it won’t be the last. The key is that we have to be led by the Spirit of God and be obedient to do what He tells us is our part in helping those in need.
I want to encourage you to do something to help this church…pray for them. Ask God to protect those sheep and keep them from scattering. Ask God to bless that pastor and his leaders who are facing some trying times ahead. Ask God to bless that church and the community which is struggling with sudden and tragic loss. In difficult moments like these, it is hard to remember that God is good…but I firmly believe we will see the goodness of God and His many blessings even in this situation.
Contact Doug at email@example.com