02/10/08 — Hope endures: Stories of survival reinforce faith in the miraculous

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Hope endures: Stories of survival reinforce faith in the miraculous

It is easy to forget sometimes just how many times miracles happen.

And if you followed the stories coming out of the tornado-ravaged South this week, you know that there is always reason to have a little hope, even in the face of the most unspeakable horror.

There are stories of heroism and compassion, volunteers and communities gathered around each other to rebuild decades of dreams destroyed in seconds.

There are families whose stories make you think about your own life — and how little material possessions matter when you have those you love around you.

And then, there are the miracles.

And there are plenty of them.

Little Kyson Stowell should not be alive.

The tornado that took his mother sent him flying into a nearby field, where the 11-month-old lay, quietly, until he was discovered by rescuers.

He is a miracle — a life saved in the midst of tragedy.

There are plenty of others, too, who should not be here after the storms destroyed their homes. But they are. The high winds that destroyed a college dormitory left many of the students who should have been crushed by the debris OK, protected by shelter that should not have been there.

There is even a collection of dogs, cats and birds who survived the winds that leveled their veterinary hospital.

There is sadness mixed with the stories coming out of the South.

Hundreds of people were injured — and 47 died.

There will be millions of dollars in damages — and some families who will never be able to replace the precious memories they lost.

But as we grieve along with them, we can take comfort, too, that there is reason to hope in the face of disaster and to believe even when faith has been tested.

So, we can take those miracles, those stories of survival, and use them as we try to process the other news of this week — the man who decided to take a gun and shoot six innocent people in Missouri because he did not like his city council’s decisions.

It won’t erase the pain of knowing that there are people who have so little regard for human life. It won’t make us feel any better about the families who will grieve for loved ones taken so suddenly.

But it is a chance to reinforce the need for faith — even in the most horrible of circumstances — and to remember the power that comes from caring for one another.

We can celebrate the miracles in the South as we pray for the families in Missouri.

We might not ever understand why some live or die or why some areas are chosen while others are spared, but we can believe that caring, compassion and faith are without boundaries or limits.

And that is a gift of hope that can break even the strongest grip of tragedy.

Published in Editorials on February 10, 2008 12:03 AM