When Words Don't Work


One of my friends lost everything she owned when her childhood home burned down. She was extremely grateful the family and the dog made it safely out, but she used to talk about how she wished she had some baby pictures.

She'd talk about great it would be to have a single trinket from childhood; that she missed having small, symbolic links to her past. She had hoped to wear her mom's wedding dress when she was married and loved her grandparents' clock that used to be in the living room. She had saved her track ribbons and kept scrapbooks from grade school, but all of those things were gone.

She'd talk about the fire as though it just happened even though a decade had passed.  The memory always seemed close to the surface.

Whenever I see survivors of tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas, I think about my girlfriend and how her lens on life was forever altered. I think about the people now facing unspeakable loss of not merely property but of life.

I consider their shock, the loss, and the recovery, and I realize my words don't work. I don't know what to say.

But still, I can empathize, we can all empathize, and we can do something.

We can donate to national relief organizations such as the Red Cross, The Salvation Army, or local churches. We can support those who are working on the ground and serving others selflessly.

We don't know every individual's needs, but we do know they are loved by God and he can meet them in the middle of their pain. We can listen, we can pray.