Today I watched/listened to a video that was taken just prior to and during the tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri yesterday, and I was immensely moved by it.
The video is dark, the lights are out, power is gone and there are people talking in a restaurant. From the count one woman makes there are 18 souls or so. They are bustling around trying to get organized with what to do and where to go. A child cries, a mother shushes and tries to calm. A woman weeps and apologizes for her fear.
There are brief flashes of lights and someone is pounding on the door to come in and someone rushes to let them in. Everyone appears to be in the same area. There is some question as to whether the tornado sirens went off or not and it is confirmed that indeed they did.
Suddenly there is a screaming roar, screeching, breaking, crashing and ripping--people start praying and calling out--some to God and some to calm others. If possible the sound intensifies and it worsens.
There is crying and screaming but the noise of the destruction and the storm is so great that it overwhelms the sounds of humanity. It waxes and wanes and you hear "Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!" and "Heavenly Father! Preserve us!" and "Mommy!! Mommy!!" and you do not know how these people are not silenced as they are swept away in their tears and fear into the sky to be relocated into the hereafter.
But they remain and amidst the cacophony and confusion you hear "Excuse me Ma'am" and "I'm so sorry!" and "Pardon Me." and then "It's o.k. It's almost over!" and the weeping and the fear and the panic and "I love you!" "I love everyone!" "Oh Jesus!" and not one drop of rudeness or anger--volumes of palpable fear and volumes of politeness, comfort and compassion.
It was--is--one of the most intense things I have ever heard in my life. Without knowing it at first, tears fell down my face in emotion and compassion and fear for these people who I do not know, but who spin this planet with me, who were standing at death's door, begging the hand to be stayed, in the middle of a 200 mph rage that ripped and tore apart the world around them...and who survived to walk the earth another day.