It has been a year since the massive tornado tore through Joplin, Missouri, taking so much with it and leaving so much devastation behind. Clicking through a photo montage reveals areas where the devastation from a year ago is now a re-built area. Things are not as they were before the tornado, but signs of life and growth abound. It will take more time to continue building, but the human spirit for creating and renewing shines brightly.
The pictures show a trend in healing that I so often overlook. There is devastation, then we try to rebuild. The pictures of Joplin show there is an intermediate step, a necessary pain needed before being able to move forward. The work in Joplin reveals the work that must be done in our own lives.
The devastation needs to be cleared. It needs to be cleaned before the ground, the community, can be restored. The initial pain of the loss can be magnified by having to work in and through the shards of what once was there. Moving back the torn apart furniture, slicing a finger on the protruding nail on what once was the roof, walking gently over unstable surfaces that used to support vibrant life intensifies the original loss.
But if long-term healing is to be had, the harder work of clearning the area must be done. Buildling a new structure on broken foundations results in shaky houses destined to fall again.
Do the harder work. Dig through the rubble of the broken expectation, whether seemingly small or big. It is the only way to clear the land so re-buildling can be strong again.
Photo by Delyan Ko