I have felt numb, in a way. Have you ever felt that? That's the closest thing I can describe to how I have felt the past week. I haven't posted because of that. I haven't known what to say or how to say it. I'm not depressed. I'm not fighting tears. I'm just...here...

That has made me think about my Joplin friends who are in the midst of the hardest season of their lives. The other night a former student posted on my wall that he was sleeping in his car at night, but (Thankfully) that student and his siblings are now in another state with Grandma and Grandpa until there's a stable home (a/c, water, power, etc) for him to return to with his siblings. He also wrote on my wall that if he was in Joplin & I was there, he would like a hug. Gosh, that sums up what I'd like to do with each former student that I know that are currently homeless there.

It has made me want to do something, anything. I pray all the time, but I want to be practical. I have three messages out to people offering my services this coming weekend, as I would love to go down and help in any way possible. I also realize that just showing up without an organization or church to join, I'd be in the way instead of help. We will see how it pans out. I have tutoring this week, as well as a couple of other plans this week so I can't go until Friday anyway.

So, I do the best thing I can from here. I pray. I know that He moves at the sound of my voice.

To my knowledge, everyone I know that lives in the area, is alive.

That little fact has made me think about life. I guess any event like this one leads people to ponder that. I know in the past week I have pondered how much I care for my former students & staff members. I knew early on that all my former staff members were okay. I am still wondering about a few kids, but am confident that they are okay since I haven't heard otherwise. That being said, I have realized what a gift life is this side of Heaven. No, it's not easy, and yes, it's hard at times, but it's a gift.

I realize that losing 100+ people is not a small thing. At the same time, I ponder how it could have been so much worse. I don't mean to minimize the destruction and devastation that has occurred. I recognize (as much as I can from my living room two hours away) that it's going to take a long time to re-build Joplin. That being said, so many more lives could have been lost. Yet, they weren't. Not a day has gone by that I haven't thanked God for saving the lives of my friends and family.

I was thinking yesterday about how much I take life for granted. How much I take this home for granted. I have prayed through feelings of guilt as I have continued my daily life, while my former students are homeless. I think that's normal, when you know that people you love are going through tough stuff.

Ultimately, I know that praying for Joplin is the right thing, and the best thing I can do from here. If God opens a door, I'm going to go help my friends and family re-build their community. I'm praying I get to go more than once too! My tutoring gig may just fund my Joplin trips this Summer. It just seems like the right thing to do.