JACKSON, Tenn. (BP)–I sat for hours thinking about what to write. After an experience like the tornado that hit Union University, a thousand things could be said.
I began innumerable times with my finger always finding its way to the delete key. “How do I put this into words?” I wondered. “How do I encompass what students have felt and what I’ve experienced?”
When we think destruction, we think of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Oklahoma City bombing. We recall watching the news and hearing the radio reports. However, I do not think many of us ever considered this kind of devastation hitting our homes, wrecking our lives and forever changing our world. Nevertheless, Feb. 5 came and, with it, tears and heartaches flowed.
Tragedy. Tornado. Destruction. Devastation. These words have echoed in my ears over the past two weeks.
We wonder how to deal with what we’ve experienced, and how to relate our feelings to an outside world that is speculating about what we will do. We talk about life-changing events and “end-of-the-world” headlines.
For Union University, this was it. We have experienced the change, the devastation and the life transformation this destruction has brought.
“In shambles,” “Night of terror,” “Storms devastate Union”: These are a few of the headlines we have seen on the front pages of our newspapers these past few weeks.
The “Union” that we have known is a thing of the past; nevertheless, there are many things in which we can find hope. “Union,” as defined by the Oxford American Dictionary, means “the action or fact of joining or being joined.”
We are Union. We are joined, not just by our nearly 3,300 students, but during this time by families, community members and thousands of supporters, literally, all across the globe.
We have come through a time that has been less than fortunate for most us; nevertheless, we must look forward to what is to come, understanding a new time is ahead.
One of the four core values Union upholds is being “future-directed.” In being such, we claim, “All of our resources and efforts must, by God’s grace, be maximized to fulfill our common mission.”
This has certainly been a time that our resources and efforts have been maximized.
We have seen schools, churches and individuals across the world come to Union’s aid. What’s more, we have seen God’s name proclaimed in thousands of homes and cities pronouncing His sovereignty that no lives were lost and few were injured.
God will receive His due glory. At no other time would Union students have been in their respective homes talking about God’s sufficiency and providence over our lives. Thus, in the midst of the devastation, God is most glorified. There could be no better grand finale to our tragic story.
Brittany Howerton is a senior public relations student at Union University and managing editor of the Cardinal & Cream student newspaper.