Thursday, April 28, 2011

Picking Up the Pieces

This morning, I took our dog for a walk, and found this piece of wallpaper in our front yard.

Somewhere, this was part of someone's house.  In Tuscaloosa?  Mississippi?  I can only guess.  But this morning, all over Alabama, we are left picking up the pieces of the deadliest tornado - ever, I think - to hit our state.

After coming in from my walk, I checked email to find that a friend of ours died last night, protecting his family from a crushing beam as their house collapsed around them.  In his last weak breaths, he was uttering prayers that the Lord would protect his family. 

And the Lord did - the rest of them - his 12 children and his wife - were physically protected from the worst of the devastation.  Tom took the punishment of that blow on his body, and saved those he loved.

The pieces of their lives that they are picking up today. . .and the next day. . .and the next. . . . .are far more shattered than a piece of wallpaper.

Tonight, I was up planning worship for the final meeting of the kids' missions group tomorrow night - my heart hasn't been in it all day, but tonight I could put it off no longer.  The theme for tomorrow night is, fittingly enough, "Restoration".   One of our verses is Revelation 21:4. . . .

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

Oh, how I long for that day.

This is one of the hymns I chose for tomorrow.  I know most of you know it, but pay close attention to the third verse - it's not sung often.  But it has spoken to me tonight.

Be Still My Soul

Be still my soul – the Lord is on thy side;
bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
leave to thy God to order and provide;
in every change – he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul – thy best thy heavenly Friend
through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know His voice
Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still my soul – when dearest friends depart,
and all is darkened in the vale of tears,
then shalt thou better know his love – his heart,
who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul – the waves and winds still know
his voice who ruled them – while he dwelt below.

Be still my soul the hour is hastening on
when we shall be forever with the Lord,
when disappointment – grief and fear are gone,
sorrow forgot – love’s purest joys restored,.
Be still my soul – when change and tears are past,
all safe and blessed – we shall meet at last.

May all our souls be still, in the knowledge that the Lord, He is God.  And He is good.

(Note:  Any of you who are moved, donations for the family who lost their father - and other families who experienced complete devastation - are being collected by Christ Church Branch Cove.  Just click on the link to donate.  Thanks.)

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