A massive tornado struck the community of Moore, Oklahoma yesterday. The images of the devastation following the storm are harsh and reports of an increasing number of deaths and injuries are hard to take. This morning’s news reports use the word “unrecognizable” to describe the scene.
Piles of debris are scattered for miles. Mounds of rubble are left where homes and businesses and schools once stood. A table, a chair or a car are easily spotted but seem to be out of place – nothing seems right.
Despite the unrecognized possessions – there is much to be recognized. We recognize the emergency personnel – police officers, fire and rescue teams – who rush toward danger not from it. We recognize the medical providers – doctors, nurses, and staff – who work tirelessly to bind up wounds. We recognize teachers and principals who put the safety of children ahead of their own. We recognize elected officials who despite their own personal losses take their role as a public servant seriously. We recognize the care of the community as we witness the embrace of neighbors in their grief.
I doubt that Jesus had Moore, Oklahoma on his mind when he instructed his disciples that the great commandment was to love God and to love neighbor but Jesus certainly had us all in mind when he gave the commandment. Sometimes we might think that the love of God is unrecognizable, especially in the face of such disaster. Yet it is in the work of the rescue personnel, the skill of the medical providers, the care of teachers, the service of elected officials and the embrace of neighbors that makes the love of God recognizable.
Please keep this community in your prayers that they and we might recognize the familiar and comforting even in the midst of the unrecognizable.