I am originally from Alabama, in particular, from Huntsville in the northern part of the state although as a small child I also lived in Eufaula in the southern part of the state.   I watched with horror as the reports came in about the tornadoes that ravaged the state and other states in late April (and in Missouri and other parts just a couple of days ago).  I saw the video of the large tornado going through Tuscaloosa.  After several days of trying to get ahold of my friends in Hunstville (I have no family there any more), I finally talked to some of them the week after.  One of my pastor friends, Rick Johnson, told me that nine tornadoes came through Huntsville that day and he saw two of them himself from his house.  Another close friend, Dr. Sam Wolfe, who helped lead me to Christ in 1974, told me that a subdivision not far from him had been totally demolished.  The picture on the left below is a picture of one of the tornadoes that went through Huntsville.  On the right is a picture of the tornado in Tuscaloosa for which most of the nation saw the video.

When I was a young boy and on into my young adult life, I had dreams about tornadoes almost every week.  None of the dreams were repeated.  They were all unique and I was trying to get away or hide from an oncoming tornado.  I stopped having those dreams when I moved to Texas, the place where the majority of tornadoes hit every year.  I do not know why I began having the dreams but I suspect it was watching the Wizard of Oz as a little boy.

Wizard of Oz tornado scene on YouTube

My church, New Life Baptist in Scranton, Pennsylvania, has been taking up an offering in May to send to the West Huntsville Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama for distribution to those who need help.  We are also considering sending down a team of people to help out appropriately in the days ahead in some rebuilding project that needs help.  I have been impressed by the response of the churches in Alabama.  I was in Houston, Texas the week after Katrina hit New Orleans and so many of the folks there had been sent to Houston.  It was also the week before Rita hit.  The churches and Christian ministries seemed to be a better help to people than federal, state, and local governments.  People all around sure had a positive understanding of the churches.  Such social action on the part of Christians is good and necessary.  It also serves as an apologetic that has strong value.  When people take note of the deep love and care of true believers they become more open to the Christ who has produced such love.

I hope to pursue more of this discussion in the days ahead concerning the question of why God’s allows natural evils such as tornadoes to exist.