And then I came across this post....
The 1990 Plainfield tornado was a devastating tornado that occurred on the afternoon of Tuesday, August 28, 1990. The violent tornado killed 29 people and injured 353. It is the only F5 tornado ever recorded in August and the only F5 tornado to strike the Chicago area. There are no known videos or photographs of this heavily rain-wrapped tornado.
I was immediately worried by the dark and very ugly looking sky - that I was driving directly toward! The route to the clinic was heading right into the storm. About half way there, the rain started. And then came the hail. Before we got much further, all the traffic signals went out, the power went out all around us and I decided to pull over. I remember very clearly, that Doug calmly pointed out to me that the sky was an unusual shade of green! This was the worst storm I had ever driven through.
By this time, I knew that we would not be making that doctor appointment. I waited for a slight break in the blinding rain, turned the car around and headed back home ......thankfully AWAY from the storm. When I finally reached the clinic on the phone the next day, I was told that they had lost power and part of their roof during that storm. I felt thankful that Doug's appointment had been at 3:30 rather than 3:00. We would have been in the middle of that storm.
I think about that day many times as we drive down that main road towards Plainfield. A large church that was destroyed has been rebuilt, as have the schools that were destroyed. But each time I look at those new buildings, I see, in my mind, those shells of buildings and trees torn out of the ground and buildings ripped in half, that we witnessed in the weeks after that terrible tornado.
My home is about 15 miles away from that path of destruction from that tornado. Thankfully, we had no damage at all from that storm. As clear as my memory is of that day, I can only imagine the long term impact that Hurricane Harvey will have on the people of Texas. Even those that might not personally have loss of property. Everything in their day to day life has been disrupted and it will be chaotic for some time.
I am so incredibly thankful for the advancements in weather forecasting over the last 27 years! Thanks to cell phones with satellite mapping and weather radar, nearly every person can figure out if a storm will come near them. We have instant weather alert apps on our devices that give us warnings that save so many lives. And, we have more informed people in charge who can order mandatory evacuations when necessary.
Most of all, I am so thankful for the Good Shepherd who never leaves us or forsakes us. In those times of really terrible storms, Jesus is always right there with us. Additionally, I am thankful for the Holy Spirit - living inside of me - who give me guidance and help in times of trouble. It was that prompting of the Holy Spirit that kept me from driving into that storm.
So tonight, as I sit in my dry home, really far away from Texas, my heart is there with those families. My thoughts and prayers are with the Fire, Police, National Guard and all those involved in keeping the people safe. I am praying for all those electrical workers, tree cutters, utility workers and many others who are driving in from far away states to aid in the clean up process. I am praying for all of the humanitarian agencies, churches, and ministries that are sending teams of people to bring water, food, health kits and first aid to so many people.
Tonight, I am so thankful for all of the helpers.........
Jesus, bring your comfort and peace to anyone who is in an uncertain situation tonight - anyone who is fearful or angry or lonely or sad. Holy Spirit, give wisdom and courage to all of the helpers. Show them the best way to care for people who are so hurting. Thank you for your great love for us. Amen