I am sitting on my back porch. The sky is a brilliant blue, a cool breeze blows, all is bright and beautiful. The beauty seems more than a little surreal when I consider that just a few hours ago, I was sitting on the sofa, the battery powered radio in my lap sputtering intermittent storm coverage, the only light being candlelight, sirens blaring in the distance, me holding my breath with every static filled damage update. I slept sporadically; mostly I waited for morning.

A tornado blew through our town last night, leaving in its wake a swath of destruction I have yet to see and can only imagine via the radio reports and the pictures I’ve viewed on Facebook. Talk about surreal. Our street is pristine, untouched, not even a stray stick or limb anywhere. One would never know of the devastation only a few blocks away. Devastation that is rightly called such as it is indeed devastating. Homes, businesses, our schools: the tornado was no respecter of any of them, ripping through them all with disastrous force.


Last night as I worried and fretted in the dark, fearful for my friends and acquaintances, anxious for news of any kind, yet thankful for our own safety–I thought of other nights that stretched long and interminable, nights where I waited and wished for the morning to come and come quickly–nights like when Hurricane Opal hit and we too waited out that storm in the dark, without power, ears glued to the radio for whatever news we could hear over the roar of the wind and the rain. We weren’t nervous, not really, at least not until we could no longer get a local station. Our only contact with the outside world–this well before cell phones and the like–was then a radio broadcast out of New Orleans. We couldn’t know what destruction had come to us until daylight. I sat on the sofa once the storm had blown through, and in the flickering illumination of candlelight, waited for morning.

I think too of those nights when one of the children was sick, or when the mommy (me) was sick. How I prayed, even begged, for morning! I can’t explain it, maybe it’s just me, but with the sunrise comes the strength to cope. I worry in the dark. I hope in the light.

I pray that same hope for those in my city struggling to cope in the aftermath. Loss and devastation came in the dark of the night; I pray we know the mercies that come new every morning. The mercies of the Lord that are new even this morning. In the midst of all that is broken and destroyed, not to mention during the long and lengthy rebuilding efforts to come, may we find strength in the Light, even as we hope in Him, Christ, our blessed Hope. He is the Light.


Author: Lisa Spence

Wife, mother, Bible teacher, bibliophile, occasional blogger

15 thoughts on “Aftermath”

  1. Remember in the Gethsemane garden when the agents of darkness came in the nighttime darkness to arrest Him. He came out to them and asked, “Who is it that you want?”

    They responded with the name of a man. “Jesus of Nazareth.”

    He responded with the name of the Lord Almighty, “I AM He”.

    May He alone be the healing, restoring, reviving, renewing Light of the World for your town.

  2. Today is James’s birthday and that always reminds me of the tornado we were in 2 weeks before. God so richly showed us his grace through that period – a period that remains a blur in so many ways, but He saw each moment and each need with such clarity. Praying for your fellow citizens that He will make Himself real.

  3. Lisa:
    I’ve known those nights as well. You have beautifully describe the “angst” of the darkness and the reassurance of the “light.” Even as the sun begins to set in my neck of the woods this night, I am reminded that it is only temporary and that there can be beautiful rest found in the darkness that prepares us for the dawn of a new day. Rest well, and prayers for your community. Having lived through Hurricane Floyd and being carted from my front lawn in a boat, I know the aftermath and devastation of a natural disaster. It will be along road back for you all, but in these times, you’ll see some of the best of what “humanity” can offer. You’ll also see the worst.


  4. After spending all day up there moving limbs and logs, 3 things stand out to me:

    1. We live only because he chooses for us to have breath
    2. God is powerful
    3. God is sovereign and his grace has been shown in this terrible event.

  5. So glad you, your family and your home are all okay. I can relate. Here in Central Florida, we had a tornado watch all night last night during howling, lightning filled storms – and FirstHusband out of town. It was a loooonnng night. After she experienced the three hurricanes in 2004, it goes without saying that PinkGirl slept in my bed last night. I watched a little news & weather with the sound muted. Thank the LORD the power didn’t go out for us – others weren’t as fortunate. And no tornado, just the night long watch.

    It was weird, though. I was peaceful and calm, not worried, I was just trying to stay alert in case we needed to go downstairs and buckle down. God definitely protected us.

  6. I’ve been near a path of a deadly tornado, so I know how that feels. Glad you are okay. Praying that God will use you to minister to those in your town who are hurting or scared.

  7. Lisa, I’m so glad you and your family were not in the path of this tornado. Praying for all your neighbors whose homes were lost and lives turned upside down.

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