The power of prayer
By A. Ray Lee
Sometimes the unplanned and unexpected happen and alter life in a major way. It may be a tragic event such as that experienced by those whose lives were impacted by the roiling tornados which left a path of devastation across Mississippi and Alabama. Those who lost so much will forever remember their lives in terms of before and after the storm. They lost homes and possessions for which they had worked a lifetime. Treasured pictured and precious items were snatched from them never to be seen again except in memory. Some must deal with the loss of a family member and many with the loss of life-long friends.
The picture of a grieving family standing by a pile of rubble that had once been their home is heartbreaking for all. It seemed I could see in their eyes despair as they sought to process what had happened. A deeply etched sense of loss has been chiseled deeply in the hearts of those who have stood where they now stand. All compassionate people are deeply moved by the scene.
I will never forget the cold rainy morning when as a youth I worked with other family members searching through the remnants of the ancestral home of an aunt and uncle who had been as grandparents to me. The generational home and my uncle’s barns had been destroyed and much of his livestock mangled or killed. A few years later I came home from college to view the scattered logs of the old pioneer house of my grandfather Lee and remembered the annual Christmas gatherings we had enjoyed as an extended family.
Southern-born and bred people are compassionate by nature. Most share a common faith. Immediately many have reached out in material ways to help. Disaster Relief teams appeared with the light of morning, bringing chainsaws and heavy equipment to begin the cleanup. Funds are being given for food, water, and other needs. Neighbors have opened their homes as a shelter for those in need until permanent arrangements can be made.
Many who might not be able to give material assistance have joined in prayer. It has been reported that recently a telecaster who is not familiar with the faith of southern people has ridiculed the practice of prayer to deal with physical loss and an as yet unknown future.
Many are now struggling with making plans for that future. We believe in the power of prayer. Prayer makes a difference.