On Day 1, I drove from Macomb to Springfield, MO. I’d hoped to make Joplin, but I’d forgotten a couple of tasks which required another trip to Macomb.
On Day 2, I decided to drive into Joplin on my way west. I headed up the street where the big box stores had been. I guess I expected that a magic wand would have been waved over the town. There is new construction and many lots are cleared of debris. But I was caught off guard by the number that still have dumpsters and boarded up windows. I drove north, then west, making the same square we drove the last day of the mission trip last year. The hospital structure stands mostly without windows. The few mangled trees in the large area devoid of trees and buildings still takes my breathe away. The large cross brings back memories of the stories relayed by church staff in Joplin last year – about community, about miracles, about God’s grace. How silly stuff we tend to get all tangled up in is so irrelevant.
It was surreal when Jeff texted a couple hours later to say C-U was under a tornado warning…. He didn’t know I’d been in Joplin, and initially didn’t respond to my texts to see how C-U was fairing.