road with storm on horizon

I’m looking out the window at a beautiful sunrise this morning and thinking. The scene is beautiful. However, over the horizon I know there are thousands of people hurting this morning as they survey the storm damage from the tornadoes that ripped through our community Easter Sunday night.

So many miraculous stories of survival. So many pictures of roofs yanked off of houses as if they were built with Legos. Portions of brick walls strewn across the ground like they weighed nothing. Trees down everywhere. Power outages that may go on for days.

This on top of social distancing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Normally, those impacted by the storm would be able to easily get a hotel room, go sit in a restaurant and eat a meal or grab a cup of coffee while recharging their phone. They literally have nowhere to go right now. Everything is shut down.

My heart feels heavy and my brain hurts as the pictures of devastation flood my mind and linger there. I can’t stop thinking about so many struggling in the midst of all of this. All the while, we are being told, “Stay away, stay home.” I can’t even get to my own team members to bring them food and supplies. It feels like I’m on the verge of tears all the time. I mean, how much more can people take?

There is a part of me that feels helpless, which is not a feeling I like or a place I tend to live. I’m usually straight out of the gates figuring out ways to provide assistance.

In these moments after the storm, what can we do?

  • Prayer or meditation is powerful for sure.
  • Check in with your friends and family.
  • Offer to make phone calls to other family members or friends who will be concerned.
  • Purchase needed supplies and drop them off at a designated location.
  • Provide food for front line workers.
  • Take good care of yourself. That way, when we are able to be out and about, we will have the energy to be helpful.
  • Know that by staying away from the area, we are helping people get help from first responders faster.

I think I have some level of guilt that I’m sitting in my house with power, with a roof over my head and I can’t really do anything to show those that are hurting that I care. Although I can’t be physically present for them at this moment, that does not mean that I am not with them in spirit and looking for ways to help from afar.

We are Chattanooga strong and we will come out on the other side of this together.

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