On Monday, deadly tornados swept through Oklahoma, causing damage of apocalyptic proportions. It will take a long time for the area to recover. It will take even a longer time for the people to recover. Some lost loved ones. Others lost their livelihoods. For many, the grief is unbearable. Thankfully, there are counselors on the scene.
In the article, “Loving Like Jesus in Devastated Oklahoma,” Kristy Etheridge of Crossmap.christianpost.com writes, “There’s a long, difficult road ahead for the Oklahoma residents who survived the deadly series of tornadoes earlier this week. The Billy Graham Rapid Response chaplains are simply there to take that road with them.”
Whether it is a man who pulls up on his motorcycle just wanting to talk or other Oklahoma residents, Al and Toni of The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team walk the streets of Moore, ready to lend a helping hand, an open ear and a prayer. Sometimes that’s all someone needs.
Formed after 9/11, Franklin Graham saw that the world was crying out for a shoulder to lean on. In this complicated world, tragedies are all too common. People need help to deal with their grief. Graham developed a Rapid Response Team ministry to share Christ in the midst of crisis and after disasters.
While not everyone believes in Christ, Graham’s heart is in the right place as well as other members of the Rapid Response Team. In many ways, they are a group of superheroes, earnest in their beliefs and unfazed by destruction, depression and tragedy. They truly sum up Psalm 34:18: The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
If we’re not close to the brokenhearted, we are failing in our duty as human beings. How do you feel when you see roadkill? Do you feel a pang of regret? Guilt even? Now imagine driving down a somber country road and seeing broken hearts on the side of the road. How would you feel? Would you rush to the store, purchase duct tape and superglue, drive back to that road and start repairing those broken hearts?
If you are having trouble dealing with grief or have experienced a disaster, my counseling services are available both over the phone and in person in Lapeer and Charlevoix MI. Call 231-881-7335 for a free phone consultation. We can also Skype, if you prefer.
*Video courtesy of Haterkiller