In the aftermath of the storm, questions inevitably arise: why does God create the tornadoes? Why does He lead them into a place like Moore? Where was He?
As I watched the video of the storm play again and again and again, and still again, on the news, I was struck by something that I want to share with you. Not to minimalize the storm at all. Not to distract from the tragedy. But just to offer a new perspective, to set you back in wonder of the God who created the wind.
Because that, not the storm, is the handiwork of God. The wind. It's amazing.
What amazes me about the wind is that God created it, knowing we would never see it. Have you ever seen the wind? Have you watched it blow from east to west? Of course not. But we are thankful for the gentle breeze on a hot summer day. We are thrilled by the refreshing way it touches our skin in a parched moment. There's something about it - you never see it coming, but when you feel it, you almost can't help but let out a little sigh of relief and contentment. There is something beautiful in the wind.
In a week like this, it's hard to say that, but it's no less true. This week reminds us of the chaos of the fallen world, where even wind can get swept up in itself and wrapped around until it blows rogue and wreaks havoc. I have seen the videos. As I mentioned just a few months ago, I am a National Weather Service Storm Spotter. I have a sober appreciation for the havoc of the wind. But that couldn't stop me from praising this week as the video played on repeat on the television news.
I praise because the wind reminds me of the overflowing love of God, His creative genius, and His commitment to the tiniest details. Specifically, I praise because the more I watch the wind in that rare seen moment, the more I watch the usually-unseen play out on my television screen, the more I can't help but wonder what other beautiful, wonderful, incredible things God took the time and tender care to create that we may never see.
How much else has He put in the universe that we will only ever feel? Only ever hear? Only ever taste? Only ever smell? How much is out there that science cannot figure out, that technology cannot control, that research cannot discover? How much have we found and how much will we never uncover? What hidden things are there in the universe that God has put there just for our pleasure - things unseen and meant to be that way? The sheer thought of it is breathtaking.
We have an extravagant God. Truly extravagant. He has spared nothing in creating this place for us, and in a moment like this, I can't help but praise the intricate nature of His work. I can't help but worship the God who created the wind, even in a moment of chaos when it's so hard to remember the grace of that wind.
The pictures coming out of Oklahoma are tough to watch. It's hard to think about the devastation; it seems so big. And my heart goes out to those in the path of the storm, those who will go to sleep every night for the next week, month, year, decade, and not be able to get the sights and the sounds out of their heads. It is incumbent upon us as the hands and feet of Christ to meet them there and to love, to serve, to do what we can to help them rebuild. And it is incumbent upon us to ask, to hear, and to honor the questions. Where was God? Why did He let the winds cut a path through a place like Moore? Why did He create the tornadoes at all?
I'm not sure He did. God created the wind - intended to be unseen - and set it in the chaos of a fallen world for our pleasure and His glory. Chaos just carried them away. In the aftermath, I find myself praising Him for the unseen, wondering what else is out there, and trusting - trusting - that in the debris, there is something else unseen that He is working on. Keep your eyes on Moore, and you will see it.
Turn your heart toward Moore, and you may just be a part of it. And if you are able, put your hands to Moore and contribute to the thing unseen.
That is the glory of God.