Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Update: The lifeless body of 3 year old Ryan Hamlin was discovered on 5/26/11 in the nearby lake. His dad fought back tears as he annouced this, calling Ryan, "my little buddy." My heart is broken for them.


The remains of my friend Steve's home (bottom right), after a tornado ripped through his small community. He is the father of my friend Katie (who used to work with me), and my hunting buddy.


Steve survived in the face of torment and tragedy. Curiosity got the better of him as he peered through a window to view the incoming tornado.

The wrath it unleashed, sent shrapnel through the window where he stood. Bloodied, he fled to a back hall and hit the ground as his home exploded around him. The only roof left was above where he fell.

Video of his small lakefront neighborhood, revealed foundations with no structures. A pan of the camera spotlighted a sea of shredded lumber in the far corner of the small lake.

While this image is disturbing enough, the realization that a three year old child is feared to be floating amid that unwelcome, laketop hardwood wrenches ones emotions.

He had just been huddling with his mother and two brothers in a nearby building. The building was decimated. His two brothers could not initially be found. The mother is hospitalized.

His two brothers were recovered, and taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The five year old remains, the fifteen month old died. The three year old is being searched for, even now.

My friend is no doubt thankful for his life. My attempts to reach him last evening went unanswered. I began trying early last night, when I saw a tornado near his home (on tv). I continued to try until I was contacted that his home had been destroyed, and led to a news video of his neighborhood.

Early this morning, I learned that his phone had been carried away by the twister.

His daughter serves as a missionary in Central Asia. I spoke with her this morning, and learned that she is struggling to focus on anything. She has yet to hear from her father, though she knows he is alright.

I rose this morning with the intent of standing at my friends side to sift through the devastation and memories.

I learned that none of the residents are allowed into the area until the three year old is found.

One of Steve's neighbors is his sister. Her home is gone as well.

What is truly important in this life?

Life!

Life in Him!

Some will blame God for allowing such a thing to happen. Others will be found desperately grateful for deliverance.

He is a big enough God to handle our frustrations and anger. He continues to love and seeks to draw the broken to Himself. There are many broken just now. There is much we can do to help. All of us must pray.

Where does one begin after such a tragedy? Losing everything but life, shocks one to a stark sense of what is real. I don't pretend to understand it.

I fear the power of such tornadic events; yet I rest in the hand of a Mighty God... who I am in awe of.

His power is beyond that which He creates or allows.

I need not fear, but press into Him.

I am praying for those in the path of today's storms.

God is in control.


dad

2 Comments:

At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about your friends and for all the other folk who have lost so much in these terrible storms. They are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Cousin Becky

 
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