As most of you probably know, there was a tornado that touched down in Joplin, MO last night. So far, there are 89 people dead and they are expecting a lot more. Joplin is a little over an hour from Springfield (where I live) and there was a fairly high chance that the tornado would be coming down the freeway toward the area where I live.
So what was I doing last night while this was going on? I was planting cacti in mugs and French marigolds in a teapot.
(Credit: I got the teapot idea from my friend, Seth, and I got the crate idea from a friend, Ryan. Anthony suggested using mugs, and I decided to use starkly different ones. I stole their really cool ideas.)
Anyway, talk about frivolity. While people are dying, I'm planting flowers. I didn't even realize that there was anything going on until my mom called me multiple times wanting to make sure that I was okay. After she called, I got a text from my aunt, several calls from my dad, and a call from my granddaddy. About the time that I started looking at the weather reports, Anthony and I decided to go to his house, since he has a basement. We literally grabbed our stuff and opened the door and it started pouring. When we got to his house, the rain was still going crazy and the sky had turned green. It was super eerie.
The tornado obviously missed us, but reading about all of the damage done in Joplin while looking at a very green sky was rather unsettling for me. We did, however, get to see a gorgeous double rainbow. These pictures were taken on my iPhone, but Amy got some beautiful photos that you should check out on her blog.
When something awful happens, I tend to obsess over it. I don't think that people should dwell on things, but sometimes I do to the maximum degree. Last night and this morning, I've been imaging what it would be like to have a tornado rip through my house, finding someone dead who I care about (or don't, for that matter), being whipped around by the winds, etc.... I'm not talking about casually empathizing with the people of Joplin; I'm talking about literally trying to imagine the feelings that I would have, seeing my things ruined, my home demolished...
This is not an uncommon thought/question, but why does crap like this happen? It really doesn't seem fair. I believe in God; I love God; why, God?
This is probably pretty weird, but I have something inside of me that is terrified of taking things for granted. It scares me to think that I might miss the blessings that are given to me all of the time. It is for this reason that I tend to dwell on negative things a lot. This is most likely a pretty terrible thing, especially if I forget to pay attention to the blessings.
I've talked about balance before, and I guess I ought to talk about it again. (This blog is sometimes a way for me to try and make sense of things for myself.) I know that it's okay to have those "it could have been me" moments, because it helps to put things in perspective; however, it is not healthy for me to let those thoughts consume me and prevent me from "living my life." (cliche/cliche/cliche)
But as I go throughout my day, I want to keep Joplin in my prayers. I am very blessed.