By Barbara Mizell, Religion Editor
The Picayune Item
Wow! What a Christmas! Mother Nature sure unleashed her fury in Pearl River County, as well as other counties in Mississippi, and towns in Alabama.
The recent storms — on Christmas Day of all times — bring up the age old question “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
It was the same question asked in 1994 when a twister devastated the White Sand area. Coming into work this morning the scenes of destruction along Sones Chapel Road were eerily similar to those so many years ago.
The path of the twister was blatantly obvious by following the damage path. Bits and pieces of someone’s home strewn through the remaining trees like holiday decorations on a Christmas tree. Pieces of tin, insulation, paper, wood, clothing, all mixed together in a horrible montage of carnage.
The lucky houses nearby showed signs of what the phrase “too close for comfort” means…trees snapped or uprooted in the yard, bare roofs where the shingles were lifted off, yards strewn with the litter from their unfortunate neighbors homes.
As devastating as the storms were, the loss of life could have been far greater. It is hard to understand how anyone could survive being in a tornado without being killed. A force strong enough to obliterate a brick home and snap mature trees like toothpicks could have most assuredly destroyed our frail human bodies.
So why wasn’t there more loss of life. As humans, we have a protector and He was surely at work during the worst of the storm. As one survivor put it, “By the Grace of God.” Even though bad things do happen to good people, we have God’s grace to see us through. Even as tears rolled down her cheeks, she said her family was intact, they all survived, she could start over.
A tornado is one of those events you are never ready for and have little time to prepare. For us “elder folk” we might be able to read the weather signs a little better than the younger generation, but we are still unable to react quickly enough to escape a tornado’s wrath.
Most every other weather phenomenon you can prepare for — flood, hurricane, blizzard — you know they are coming. A tornado however catches most people by surprise.
My heart goes out to the families affected by the Christmas Day storms. There were injuries, some severe, but take comfort in the thought it could have been much, much worse.
Now is the time for our local churches, religious organizations, neighbors, and disaster aid workers to help those in need, and I know without a doubt they will. Pearl River County has the best religious community around…always working, always tending to the needs of our people.
So, yes, bad things happen to good people. The Bible tells us so. But the Bible also tells us God will be there to see us through the hard times. He will “never leave us nor forsake us” and that is a comforting thought indeed.
Let us all be in prayer for those injured and give thanks to God for his amazing grace.
Earthquakes and tornados, mysteries of Mother Nature. Thank goodness we don’t have many earthquakes in Pearl River County.
Pray it remains so.