I just finished watching the end of NBC News' extended nightly broadcast from Moore, Oklahoma. It humbled me to see the beauty of human nature.
For the past day, we've seen photographs and video of devastating loss. I couldn't get the children trapped in the Plaza Elementary school out of my mind. The thought of these children lying, terrified, under rubble in the dark created tears that wouldn't stop. The images of their broken parents waiting to hear their child's name called as one of the rescued wore heavy on my heart. At one point, my soul mourned so deeply over this that I reached out to my friend, and pastor, Jason Mitchell, and pleaded for reassurance. I needed someone to articulate how a loving God could allow this to happen. As the mother of a son in elementary school, the empathy I felt toward these parents was crippling.
Tonight, as I watched NBC's broadcast, my heart filled with admiration and respect for who we, as human beings, truly are at our core. Within 24 hours, neighbors whose homes still stood opened those homes to people who'd lost everything. An elderly woman who stood in front of her home, which is now a stack of wood, cried with joy and thankfulness when her dog pushed through the rubble and survived. Families from nearby walked miles to help clear rubble and look for survivors. Others went to a local hardware store and bought every set of work gloves they had and then handed them out to people digging through the remains of their homes. Others set up tents and cooked food to feed the now homeless. Toomers for Tuscaloosa, the relief group that began after Tuscaloosa suffered devastating loss from a tornado, announced they were setting up a Target registry for essentials that could be bought. They had a driver lined up to drive the items to Oklahoma next week.
I still wrestle with why God allowed seven children to drown in the basement of their elementary school crying for their parents. It wrecks me to think of them in the dark, scared and wanting simply their mother's embrace, as the waters rose. The fear that they must've felt.
But rather than question "why," because I know there is no answer, I'm embracing the images that continue to flow out of that devastated town. Strangers helping one another. Bearing witness to people being the hands and feet. The goodness of human nature amplified to the level of inspiration. I choose to believe that people are good. This community--and the response of our nation--confirms this.