The power was still off when I woke up Monday morning. From my front window I could already see some of the damage left behind from Sunday’s extreme bout of storms. It was just getting bright enough outside to walk around and assess the damage. Leaving my house, I was almost immediately overwhelmed with the sight of all the dark houses and the downed trees on my street. I couldn’t help but feel so profoundly small compared the scale of damage done to my little corner of town.
Reports were already coming in of one fatality in Rogers, and pictures of destroyed homes and businesses were being posted across social media. It felt senseless. My home was fine, but why were so many lives uprooted and changed forever in just a couple of hours? Where could comfort be found here?
As I walked I kept refreshing my phone-I guess I just felt this need to at least attempt to understand the extent of the damage. Gradually, images and stories of hope started coming in. My boss mentioned that people in his neighborhood were already at work with chainsaws helping each other out. Cities in the area that weren’t impacted by the storm were lending their crews and their labor to help clean up and restore electricity and normal life to everyone.
Where we see helplessness, God sees and opportunity to show comfort.
Psalm 10:17: Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.
Typing this out on Tuesday afternoon, I know that life will eventually be restored to normal for many of us. The lights will come back on, the damage done will be repaired. But in this moment, in the middle of the discomfort and uncertainty, God is using us to show His comfort to the hopeless. The kind neighbors helping each other clear trees, the friends offering a room to stay in, the kind hearts offering warm food. My prayer as we clean up and rebuild from this is that God opens our eyes to show His love to one another. That hope can be brought to the hopeless, that cries of helplessness can be met with heavenly comfort.