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Blown Away, by Phil Ware

    “Man, that just blew me away. I mean it really blew me away!” Two events this past week insured that I could never use the phrase “blown away” in a trivial way ever again.

    People not far from where we live had their lives shattered when their homes, loved ones, hopes, and dreams were literally blown away by a force 5 tornado. Their lives were instantly changed. The tornado was simply too big and too quick to outrun as 30 people lost their lives and hundreds more have had their lives forever altered.

    This same week Timothy McVeigh was found guilty of murdering 168 innocent people with a bomb made of fertilizer and diesel fuel. This event was life shattering for those involved and all who knew them. Lives, dreams, hopes, and loved ones were blown away in a moment.

Lives, dreams, hopes, and loved ones were blown away in a moment.
    Both events remind us that horrible things happen to good people. Some disasters are the result of violent and misguided people. Others disasters are the result of natural forces unleashed by violent weather changes. Either way, in a mere instant, life is changed forever. While we can do some things as a matter of precaution, nothing can totally prevent these kinds of disasters. As Christians, we have no guarantees that tragedy will pass us by. In fact, our Savior is a living reminder that the answer to tragedy is not prevention, but resurrection.

    So what do we do? Let me offer some simple starting points:

  • Guard ourselves from the callousness to disaster. Each disaster, large or small, is more than an event—it is a life, a family, a future, a hope, an eternity. See disasters in people terms. Let care win out over callousness.

  • Offer help in tangible ways—minister to the people personally or help with the gift of money. In many disasters, people send stuff the victims don’t need. In most cases what is needed most is money.

  • Live each day with an awareness that we live life on the edge. Colors should be appreciated, sunsets enjoyed, family and friends cherished and loved. Live your life to its fullest today, because you have no guarantee of another.

  • Finally, invest in things that are eternal. The only insurance policy that we have against disaster is a shared faith in Jesus and a deep expectation of his return. Nothing can replace those we love who are taken by disaster, but reunion with Jesus can bring us back together again, forever.

    Life can be blown away in instant. Let’s not trivialize the lives of those who have had their life “blown away” by using this phrase carelessly. Instead, let’s care for those hurt and live our life in way that binds us to the ones we love with a tie that cannot be blown away.

Revelation 14:13

If you would like to help financially, you can make a check out to Westover Hills Church of Christ and put Tornado Relief Fund in the memo. The address is Tornado Relief Fund, 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759. Please leave your address and your gift will be acknowledged by mail.


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Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
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