One of the things I never want to be able to say to a survivor of a horrific natural disaster is, “I know how you feel.”
And yet on this Christmas I feel the need to express my sincere sorrow and a bit of remorse over the suffering that so many of my fellow Americans are experiencing today so soon after Mother Nature delivered her killer blow.
My reference is to the tornadoes that tore through several states a few days ago. We have seen those horrifying pictures of Mayfield, Ky., a town that was virtually wiped off the map by a tornado that measured more than a mile across the ground as it ripped through the community.
I have been sitting in my comfortable living room watching the horror unfold as survivors pore through what is left of their homes. All I am left to say — mostly to myself, under my breath — is “My God in heaven, how do they recover from that?”
Then my remorse is assuaged a bit by the sight of all those folks rushing to help each other. Bear in mind that the neighbors, too, have endured tremendous suffering and pain with their own loss. Yet they roll up their sleeves and lend a hand where others need it.
Do I know what they are feeling? Do I understand their pain? No and no.
All I have is my heartfelt sorrow while wondering: How in the world do you wish someone who grieves in this manner a Merry Christmas?
May all of them keep — and embrace — the faith.