Girls Write Out
Thursday, June 02, 2011
Two weeks ago I was on the campus of St. John's, Joplin, MO, having some medical tests. It was a morning-long ordeal, boring but not terribly painful. We had some excitement because there was a code gray at the hospital, and we were warned that if the weather got worse we'd be moved to safety. It didn't get worse, though I did get drenched picking up ribs at Rib Crib on the way home.

Two days later an F-5 hit St. John's along with a great deal more of Joplin. Everybody's heard about the tornado by now.

What a few people in the world may not have heard yet were some of the individual stories. My neighbor who works at a local Walmart told me she's been selling tons of water, cereal bars, soap, shampoo and many other items for shoppers to donate to the many homeless in Joplin.

She also told me there have been traffic jams in Joplin along 32nd street, not caused by gawkers, but by people trying to get into the city to help out.

Mel and I listened to a recording that someone apparently took on their cell phone inside a convenience store when the tornado hit it. The sound of the tornado was terrifying, children were crying, a woman was praying, and men were doing their best to make sure everyone was okay. They were strangers looking out for each other.

Many restaurants were in the line of the twister. The manager at one restaurant herded 32 people into the cooler, but the cooler door wouldn't close, so he went and found a bungee cord. He got the cord fastened, but couldn't get in himself. The tornado took the manager, but he saved those people.

One of my writing friends in Oklahoma City took shelter in a basement. The tornado was coming straight toward her, and then it suddenly lifted over the house she was in. It came back down on the other side.

One truck driver was passing my Joplin when the tornado hit. He could see something was going on, but couldn't figure out what was so weird until he realized his truck was ten feet off the ground. For a moment he thought he was being taken up in the rapture. I'm not sure why he thought the truck was going with him. He made it back down safely. I bet he never forgets that.

I received a call from my doctor's nurse yesterday. They're working out of Memorial Hall, which is a concert hall in Joplin where I once went to see the Strawberry Alarm Clock perform. Many files from the hospital had been found 65 miles away in Springfield, but mine had been salvaged from the doctor's office. The nurse told me I'm fine.

Miracles happen every day. They seem to appear more often after a tragedy such as the tornadoes that have hit this year. I'm slowly learning to search for those miracles hidden in the middle of tragedy, and focus on the goodness in people, in the world, in God's miracles, instead of the pain and fear.

I'm trying to break my cycle of cynicism. Want to help me? Share a miracle story? In the midst of a struggle, has God touched you with a reminder of His love? Give us a boost and remind us of God's power and love.

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Hannah Alexander  
posted at 11:30 PM  
  Comments (10)
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At 9:28 AM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

I laughed and then cried as I read these. So inspiring. Funny before I got to the end, as I read about your friend whose home was spared by God, I thought of my own miracle. God raised me from the dead - well, clinically dead. I was for over 30 minutes. And I spent a long time with "survivors" syndrome as about a month later I watch a man on the tennis court next to me collapse and die of a heart attack.

I learned life hangs by a slender thread. Use it in service to the Lord and to people.

At 12:00 PM, Blogger Sabrina L. Fox said...

My own personal miracle is going to be 12 this month. :) My husband and I tried for over 5 years to have a baby. Doing all the fertility stuff we could afford.

My doctor finally said for whatever reason, it just wasn't going to work. I needed to consider other options. I went home that night in despair. But after several hours of prayer I gave it back to God.

I told him if I wasn't supposed to be a mother to take the desire away. I wanted to serve him more than I wanted to be a mother. That next month, with no help from fertility drugs I got pregnant. After almost 6 years trying. :)

At 1:03 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Wow, Ane. You were out for thirty minutes and survived? That's something one never hears about. What a miracle! As for the survivor's guilt, I can understand. It's so easy to ask, "Why them? Why not me?"

At 1:04 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Sabrina, isn't it amazing how, when we give our biggest dreams to God, He takes them and makes them work? That's a beautiful story. Thank you.

At 11:09 AM, Blogger Jean Kincaid said...

I'm with you on working NOT to be cynical. The older we get, the harder it is not to be that way, but like the stories you told, there are beautiful miracles hidden everywhere. We may have to look for them at first, but eventually they become easy to find and wonder over. Thanks.

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

You're right, Jean. The miracles are there if we look for them, and they come out of hiding the more we look.

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

My family and I were packing and getting ready to move to Kentucky and my 3 older boys had taken our dog out back to go potty. The youngest 15ms who I thought was sleeping downstairs had snuck out the front door ,made around the block and was picked up by the cops. Somebody thankfully was going around and knocking on doors, and at first I was like no I'm not missing any one. Then I thought I'd better go check and it was my son. I felt like the worst mom ever and thought this is the most horrible day. But then I realized this the best day ever because God kept my little boy safe and I got to have more time with him. Thank you! God!!!!

At 4:32 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Amen, Jennifer! That's a GREAT miracle. We had a plumber here a while ago, and he told us about a German shepherd who saved a two-year-old from the family pool--carried him in by the diaper.

At 8:09 PM, Blogger Kim Gray said...

Several years ago my husband and 3 children were driving to church when a gustnado hit our town. Debris was flying everywhere. Some hit the window of the van by the back (3rd) seat where my daughter was sitting, shattering the window and sending glass all the way up to the driver's seat. My husband looked ahead and saw the power pole with a transformer on it moving back and forth. He made the decision to turn around. He got back to the intersection and the girls began screaming, "It's gone, it's gone." The transformer had fallen across the road and if he hadn't turned around he would have been under it when it went. Even all with all of the glass and flying debris, no one was hurt, not even a scratch.

At 10:53 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Kim, that's so amazing. It reminds us there's more than this simple life in store for us.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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