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Posts Tagged ‘Alabama’


Damage to trees, homes and trailers south of T...

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Sometimes you just run across things that surprise you because they seem so out-of-place.

In an effort to find a Starbucks for a caffeine refuel on a very long road trip through the South, I turned off at one of the only exits that boasted the familiar green and white Starbucks sign. What I didn’t realize was that it was a fair distance from the highway, and quite honestly as happens on a long road trip (read 12-hours of drive time), I didn’t quite realize what city I was driving into.

As I drove into the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, I found myself in what looked to be a very prosperous city. The businesses were thriving, cars were everywhere and there was even an amazing Veterans Memorial there. It was one of the most unique I’ve seen, complete with military equipment like tanks and helicopters from the different branches of service along with a beautifully kept park, so those who drove by and those who stopped would take the time to reflect on what our soldiers have done for us.

Finally I spotted the world-famous purveyor of caffeinated beverages and more in a nicely designed outdoor shopping area that, like its surroundings, was well-kept and prosperous looking.

After resettling ourselves in the car with everyone packed in like sardines with their favorite drinks I pulled out of the parking lot onto a street that I didn’t see form the main street I’d been on. It took a second for what I was seeing across the street to register.

In the middle of all that hustle and bustle and prosperity was a half a city block of what could only be called devastation. At first, I thought houses were just being demolished to make way for progress, but then I looked at the trees. They had been stripped of their branches and their tops snapped off like toothpicks. All four sides of the houses there were leaning inward barely upright with their siding torn off and lying at various distances away.

My eyes traveled across the street where another half a city block of commercial buildings stood with their windows shattered, their signage ripped off and their roofs looking like someone had randomly pulled a corner up here and one down there.

I looked in a circle around to the buildings next to where I was pulling out and there were roof tiles missing from the restaurant next to me on one side, and a sign barely hanging from its pole on the other side. Yet, what seemed to be just a few feet behind was the shopping center I had just gone into, looking unmarred and whole.

Then I realized just where I was and what I was looking at, the devastation was caused by one of the many tornadoes that ripped through the area and clearly illustrated how one block could be perfect while the next was destroyed.

It got me thinking about our lives and many times we go along with everything looking pretty good, prosperous even, then we find something in our lives that’s absolutely devastated sitting across the street from that prosperity.

That devastation can come from a variety of things caused by ourselves and others, but the fact is that the brokeness, like the broken buildings and dead trees I saw, needs to be cleared away before any rebuilding can begin. And then when that rebuilding begins, it must be done on the foundation of Christ and built by the LORD Himself or it will never be able to stand under the storms that come with life.

“Unless the LORD builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain.”

Psalm 127:1a

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