The storms: What went wrong?

Had he ask’d us, well we know
We should cry, oh spare this blow!
Yes, with streaming tears should pray,
“Lord, we love him, let him stay!”
But the Lord doth nought amiss,
And since He hath order’d this,
We have nought to do but still
Rest in silence on His will.
Many a heart no longer here,
Ah! was all too inly dear;
Yet, O Love, ‘t is Thou doat call,
Thou wilt be our All in all.
— Aller Glaubigen Sammelplatz
Chr. Gregor, 1778

Parents burying children is wrong; it is not supposed to be this way. Yet, there are many stories of college students lost in the storm. There are many stories of pediatric codes in Emergency Rooms on the night of the storms, and many of those stories ended in death. So, what went wrong? There were warnings. There was television coverage. There were even dramatic videos of the storms ravaging our towns and cities.

Over at James Spann’s weather blog, Bill Murray asks that same question. His answer is simple: “drive to any number of locations from Hackleburg to Phil Campbell to Tuscaloosa to Hueytown to Pleasant Grove to McDonald’s Chapel to Pratt City to Cullman to Ohatchee to Harvest to Cordova to Argo to a number of other places. They will find tornado damage that was nearly unsurvivable unless you were under ground in a reinforced shelter.”

Unsurvivable.

There is nothing we can do when standing before the power of the whirlwind. It reveals our frailty; it exposes our hubris—that belief that the work of our own hands can save us. If anything the Gulf oil spill illustrated that often the product of our ingenuity causes us difficulty. Now, these storms highlighted how little protection we have in the face of nature.

So what went wrong? Is it the design of this world? Is it God’s fault? How can a benevolent Creator allow such death?

Last week while sitting in church, the sermon was on the lessons from the resurrection of Lazarus. There were many things to take home. Perhaps the most memorable came from that shortest of verses: Jesus wept. In those two words we find the fullness of the Godhead dwelling bodily (Col. 2:8-9) understands the depth of our despair. As St. Hilary of Poitiers wrote in 360 A.D., “for by the bodily indwelling of the incorporeal God in Christ is taught the strict unity of Their nature. It is, therefore, not a matter of words, but a real truth that the Son was not alone, but the Father abode in Him: and not only abode, but also worked and spoke: not only worked and spoke, but also manifested Himself in Him.” Thus through the earthly presence of God in the person of Christ, we know that he understands our grief. He wept; and when Jesus wept, God wept.

But if God knows our sorrow at loss, and knows this world leads us to sorrow , how can we reconcile his allowing catastrophe? In the 12th century Rabbi Moses Maimonides wrote, “The book which enlightened the darkness of the world says therefore, ‘And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good’ (Gen. i. 31). Even the existence of this corporeal element, low as it in reality is, because it is the source of death and all evils, is likewise good for the permanence of the Universe and the continuation of the order of things, so that one thing departs and the other succeeds. Rabbi Meir therefore explains the words “and behold it was very good” (tob me‘od); that even death was good in accordance with what we have observed in this chapter. Remember what I said in this chapter, consider it, and you will understand all that the prophets and our Sages remarked about the perfect goodness of all the direct works of God. In Bereshit Rabba (chap. i.) the same idea is expressed thus: ‘No evil comes down from above.’”

Perhaps there is no perfect answer. As St. Paul told us, we see through a glass darkly. We comprehend partly. For some it is enough to know God is in control. But as the Rabbi said, God created existence. Our existence is corporeal and limited, yet still good.

Even in the depths there is good to be seen. As Cecil Hurt pointed out in his column today, “There will continue to be stories about athletes and others who have helped, and we will report them here. But when you read them, no matter where you helped, with dauntless heroics or a simple bottle of water or an encouraging word, you aren’t just reading about someone on a team you support. You – every heroic one of you – will be reading about a teammate.”

How we respond to situations like this reveals character. While we cannot prevent disaster, we can work to ameliorate the suffering. It was to end suffering that Christ came into the world—to restore us to a relationship with God. It was the lesson of Easter. And so in the aftermath of Easter we should take the teaching of Christ and put it into practice—so that a little bit of good can be seen in us.

31 Comments

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  1. 2
    Hoopie

    The Lord doesn’t promise to protect us from evil. Evil is in the world in many forms. Through faith in his Son and a conscious intent to do the Lord’s will, we are given the strength to realize that the Lord will provide that which we need.

    We may not always understand why burdens OR blessings have been put upon us, but we should trust the Lord ..thank him for the blessings and understand the intent of his will in the burdens.

    Pray incessantly and and always seek to do his will.

  2. 3
    blakeney

    In Genesis 1and 2 there was no death the world was perfect the garden was paradise no strife, the lions and tigers didn’t even kill for their food, but in Genesis 3 verse six things changed when mankind disobeyed God!!!!! The relationship changed because of sin. The world became a fallen place and God made a way of salvation Genesis 3:15.

  3. 5
    FinebaumJunkie

    So much is said in here, and I take my blame coming in here stirring the pot, but the reason I do it is it’s fun to me. Some take things to extremes and you can blame me also for being part of it, but when you get down to the brass tacks of it all, we ARE human. Looking at some posts after this bitch of a tornado, from tmc1, my boy Brandy and many others in here, guys, I would give the shirt off my back to any of you in need and it doesnt matter if you say you wouldnt do the same for me. Thats who I am, and the rest of the nation can bitch about the SEC and in particular the state of Alabama as a whole all they want. When tragedy like this hits, just watching the actions and kindness of ALL Bammer people, well that makes me prouder than shit. God bless.

  4. 6
    Pluto

    I think that the Weather Coverage in general – is the culprit. I watch it like everybody – and because so much money is invested in the radar and salaries for people like Spann – every hook pattern – any clue – of Rotation – in any part of bumf*ck Alabama – is a big deal. You just keep hollering wolf all the time – the sheep will get bored and tune it out. Think about this. The Phones at the Television Stations are always in meltdown when weather interferes with popular shows. Nobody will call about what the News or Weather product is. Just put my damn show on. Honestly – who gives a damn about a hook echo in Greene County. The Television Stations want to cover this huge area – but here in the Metro – do you really care what is happening in the sticks ? Hell No. I guess I need to tidy up this rant. Too much coverage. I will agree that if a f4 or f5 hits – you better be deep under the ground – otherwise – just kiss your ass goodbye cuz. No matter what Spann says.

  5. 7
    ITK

    The fact is, we are all eggs in a crate. Our bodies are extremely fragile, basically walking water balloons.

    There are some things in life that are simply too big for us to overcome…a great white, a grizzly, a head-on collision, various cancers and illnesses, a tornado, an earthquake, a landslide, a tsunami…and we realize just how small we really are. It’s at that point, hopefully before, we realize that we need (and can find security in) a great big God that’s able to deliver us on either side of eternity.

    We only have so many days here, and the Creator knows that number. Therefore let’s just make the most of them, showing love to those we love, doing good to everyone, accomplishing what God wants us to do with our lives, and exposing Auburn as the dirtiest program since SMU.

  6. 9
    bamabino

    100 fold prayers, blessings and safeties for everyone from one of the walking water balloons. 🙂

  7. 12
    Hoopie

    Brando ..In order for your dead tree statement to make any sense and even be pertinent we would have to discuss why these 2 events happened.

    We know why the trees were poisoned.

    It’s your turn to answer why the tornadoes hit. Answer that and let’s see where the perspective is.

  8. 13
    BamaBrando

    No, Hoopie, you don’t get it at all. Y’all acted like the dead tree thing was this huge disaster, then the tornado hit, and as you can see, this is what a real disaster is. Are you inferring that this may me another Auburn ‘god’ thing or something? All I said is that it puts the dead tree thing in perspective, and it does. Quit getting all sensitive and poking your chest out.

  9. 14
    Nicket the Ewok Coach

    Hope you guys weren’t hit. I hate disasters like this. The AU AL rivalry is so unconcerning compared to devastation like this. Just to say as well, think about the Japanese right now, in relation to the tornado their life is so much worse after an earthquake which has resulted in melting nuclear reactors. Makes me feel the same way as when you look at the stars and realize the closest one is 2.4 light years away. Makes me feel smaller than a sugar ant. God is power, definitely, what an awesome God we serve.

    AU is no dirtier than AL, nice try ITK. Bless you.

  10. 15
    FinebaumJunkie

    I agree Brandy….100%. To me, as a Auburn fan, the tree thing was flat out pathetic. I hated it but my world didnt cave in because one of your ignorant fans poisoned it. As far as putting it in perspective, it ain’t even close. I watched from my patio the wall cloud as the tornado tore Concord and Pleasant Grove to shreds, and it took me several hours to get in contact with several relatives and many friends from those areas. And for the record, many of are Bammers. When I was able to get in and see the after effects, my jaw dropped. Know what else made my jaw drop? Seeing tons of people helping, working side by side with each other. Why did that make my jaw drop? I could tell I was still in Alabama because seeing people with Auburn shirts and hats helping, and consoling people with Bama shirts and hats. As stupid as the tree thing was… well there is NO comparison.

  11. 16
    BamaBrando

    Yes, it is cool that Alabama and Auburn fans can pull together and help each other out. In real life people are still people, and football is just a There were Auburn fans that were hit by this also, and not only in Tuscaloosa, even though it looks like Tuscaloosa got the worst of it. School affiliation doesn’t matter in a time like this. It is just human beings pulling together, Alabamians pulling together, and it is a great thing.

  12. 17
    Hoopie

    Brando …I see as a typical Bammer you have no ability to understand anything in perspective or within context.

    Just keep sucking up the propaganda put out by the REC. that way you don’t have to tax that midget-brain by thinking.

    The trees were killed by an idiot and some of his fanbase compatriots even applauded his actions.

    The tornadoes weren’t “caused” by anyone and everyone is on the same page.

    Imagine if the tornado had only ripped down Denny Chimes and there was no more damage …how would you feel? …Oh …and since you need it spelled out for you …that would be no ones fault.

  13. 18
    BamaBrando

    Hoopie, I have heard Auburn fans comparing the dead trees to a terrorist attack like 9-11. I have heard Auburn fans say God sent the tornadoes to Tuscaloosa because some Bama fan killed the trees and others were laughing about it. Seriously. Your fanbase has some really messed up people who are mixing religion with their football passion for Auburn.

  14. 19
    FinebaumJunkie

    With all due respect Brandy, that is a two way street. It goes both ways. Including writing pitiful articles attacking the religion of a fan base. I havent heard or seen an Aubie comparing trees to a terrorist act but you know what? I dont doubt it for a second. I know some Auburn fans who without a doubt are just trash. Know some Bama fans like that also. I also know some great people on both sides also. So when a post attacks a fanbase as a whole, and is called a cult, its just plain wrong. Joke or not.

  15. 20
    BamaBrando

    If you believe that Cam didn’t know it, well, you just might be an Auburn cult member.
    If you think that the REC is behind the 5 investigations into Auburn football, you might be an Auburn cult member.
    If you truly believe that Brent Calloway is just the tip of the iceberg, then maybe you probably are an Auburn cult member.
    If you frequent Bama websites to troll the message boards, well… you are an Auburn cult member.

  16. 21
    FinebaumJunkie

    And when you cant get your facts right, you yell Roll Tide. Its not a matter if I think Cam knew, its a matter of proof. And I CAN tell you there is none. Personally, I think he did, but whatever. The “investigations” you speak of, well lets just say like I told you before, a lot of eyes are being opened in a lot of places. And I find it interesting that you put a time limit on the tip of the iceberg, but how long do we have to wait for that “hammer” to drop. LMAO, keep waiting on it my man. As far as my trolling here, when you pay my cable and internet bill every month then you can dictate as to which sites I frequent.

  17. 22
    bestliltrailerparkinttown

    Git yer ass outta here junkie. This hear is our site. This is wear we gather and make stuff up and blow smoke up each others azzholes. we don’t kneed you comin in her running your mouth with yer fancy talk and truth and alls. leave us hardworkin incest luvin people alone.

  18. 23
    bestliltrailerparkinttown

    Bye the way BBrando u need to swing by mah trailer win u can’ u left yer crotchless panties here the other night.

  19. 24
    BamaBrando

    Glad I could piss you off FBJ. It is always a pleasure. Notice I didn’t mention your name not once, but you sure took it to heart. Did I strike that nerve hard enough? LoL Roll Tide!

    Oh yeah, and if you get real whiny and emotional over what a Bammer says about Auburn over the internet, well you just might be an Auburn cult member.

  20. 25
    Crimsonite

    Boise State just got NZAA’ed for 1/1000th of what Aubie is accused of. Did you even know BSU was being investigated? I’ll bet not. Guess what Aubie – Hell is coming and its name is COI! Have patience. They’ll get around to you shortly. Meanwhile Bama will be playing for the BCSNC in 8 months. If a Bama football player can be picked up and thrown 50 yards by the biggest tornado in Alabama history, and come out with only a few bruises; what can any other football team hope to do against 80 more of the same kind of Bama players on a football field? It’s all downhill from there! RTR!

  21. 26
    wow

    WOW… only crimsonite would still be worried about Auburn football after the worst tragedy in our states history. Your a joke

  22. 27
    wow

    Maybe you should be more worried about the tornado damage on 15th street crimsonite and the people they still haven’t found then a football team you don’t even go for. Your pathetic

  23. 28
    FinebaumJunkie

    BamaBrando….. I’m not sure if you remember this, but years ago, Jim Mora was coaching the Saints. Now, I can’t remember who it was, but they beat the snot out of New Orleans. Afterwards, the reporters were interviewing Mora outside of the locker room. The look on his face as he said over and over “Did you see that? Wow we got our ass whipped. We played like horse shyt! Wow. Did you see that”? It went something like that anyway. Well that’s the way I feel. Wow. Did you all see that? I just got my ass whipped. Brandy, I like the way you handle yourself, and kudos for handing me my tail. But the favor will be returned haha.

  24. 29
    Crimsonite

    Go phuck yourself Wow! The football Shyit started many posts before mine you brain dead goat phucker. It’s been a week and a half since the tornado and this site has dedicated and is still dedicating nearly full time to the aftermath. Yet still this is a sports site first. If you don’t like it, you can jump up my arse. No, on second thought I don’t want any Barnturds, their diseases or their perverted ideas anywhere near my arse! RTR!

  25. 30
    Crimsonite

    And this was not the worst disaster in the states history. Only speaking of modern history, Hurricane Camille and Hurricane Frederick were both many times worse in terms of destruction, although not as deadly in Alabama anyway. Camille wiped every town on the Alabama Gulf coast off the face of the map. They are all new now. Of course a titty baby like you is too young to remember.

  26. 31
    Crimsonite

    Oops, a mistype. While Camille did do horrible damage to Alabama’s coast, it was Freddy that leveled everything from Alabama Point to Dauphin Island and forever changed our coast, turning it into another Panama City.

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