At this time, after the few days of shock I have felt after seeing my home state and many places I love torn apart by a huge tornado, the question that comes to me is,
“Where are the wildflowers?”
Just last week I was reflecting on the dates, September 2nd and 3rd, when Hurricane Dorian crashed into the island of Grand Bahama and other parts of the Bahamas where women whom Wildflower supports live and have family. As we were talking to one another about these storms we realized how hard disaster relief is. For me, it's because 10 years ago I experienced a devastating tornado in Tennessee that has left me with a lot of trauma.
A week after this reflection, Middle Tennessee was struck by a huge tornado. The cycle of trauma from natural disasters hit our Wildflower family hard once again.
Within six month of each other two places where Wildflower Enterprises works and our loved ones live, devastating natural disasters have torn apart our loved ones' communities. I don’t know the right words to say. My words can turn to anger, depression, and fear, and the news of each disaster leaves me in constant shock. I don’t want to stay here though.
It is not fair to compare these storms and the damage that each one caused. We just need to realize this is not how anyone deserves to live. This is not how God wants us to live, and God did not plan any of these disasters.
As a co-founder of Wildflower Enterprises, I feel I must have words of comfort to tell all of my other wildflowers in the Bahamas and Tennessee. I am there for y'all. It is really hard for me to be miles away from y'all. I would rather be with you than safe in my home in Pennsylvania. I want to be there to comfort you, cry with you, and laugh with you. Luckily we do have the beauty of technology to communicate the best as we can. But sometimes these moments are not as good as an actual hug and embrace to actually feel each other. For those of you who are like me and have been geographically distanced from these storms, what we can do is show support in comforting ways. Support our artists in these locations or help us at Wildlfower be emotionally present, if not physically present, when these things happen. Look through our resources on trauma-informed ministry and join us in conversation and prayer.
Right now, I am left with a huge anxiety about what I am supposed to do, and what Wildflower is supposed to do when disasters like these occur.
What I can say is let’s look for the wildflowers all around us. Maybe they are actual flowers like the picture of daffodils my mom sent me the morning after the tornados. Maybe the wildflowers you see are the eyes of another human being you encounter. Maybe the wildflower is sun peaking through the clouds. Whatever your wildflower is at this time, let it remind you to seek hope, and let that hope help someone else see hope. You may be someone else’s wildflower.
We are creating that beautiful community of wildflowers everyday.
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