Posted by: Jim E | April 30, 2014

It Was Sunday…And Love Overcame Death Near Little Rock…

Last Sunday, April 27, 2014 was like many Spring Sundays in Little Rock…it was cloudy, and warm, with warnings of possible storms…and in Arkansas this time of year, that means the threat of tornadoes…being from Minnesota and living there for most of our Clouds storm coming June 11, 2011lives, we had tornadoes…but here, when they say a threat of tornadoes, we have learned, you have to take it seriously…but other than watching the weather, the day started like most early Spring days here…we went to church and came home, spent some time reading and watching the weather on TV once in a while…Jeremy worked until 5:00, and that was when they said things might start “popping”…for as long as we have been married and had kids, I always felt better “when everyone was home”, safe…I know that maybe a bit weird but I always have felt that getting Jeremy home was a good feeling…

We “tucked in”, as I told Jeremy we would do when we got home…I turned on the TV and watched what was happening…there really wasn’t much going on…Oh, there were thunderstorms on the radar but nothing as of yet ominous…that would all change at about 7:00 pm…I mentioned that things were a bit different in Arkansas in how they follow weather, especially tornadoes, they are good at it…they follow them very closely and can “see” the “signature” of the tornado…

In fact they follow it along town by town, street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood…and that is exactly what happened on Sunday, the names of the town, street, neighborhood are on the screen…as long as we have power and the TV is working or have a smart phone working you can get that kind of warning…it is a bit frightening but at the same time wonderful to have that kind of specific warning…we watched the tornado on Sunday, its whole way until it lifted up…they pointed out that “it was on the ground”…I wondered the first years down here, “How do they know”…it’s hard to understand but they do know…

Tornado April 2014We saw on radar, the “debris ball”, as they called it, on the screen, so we knew there were trees, houses and possibly people being effected by the storm…and it was wide and we watched it as it moved along…and as we watched we thought “out loud” who we knew that were in the path of the storm…so as I told Judie that night…”It’s right out where the ‘strawberry lady’ parks her van.”…and it was just West of there, about a half mile away…we followed it town by town, road by road…we knew right where it was all along…even down to “that’s just East of Will’s folks”…”it just missed Roland (a small town North of us) by a football field”…and so on…so we never know if it will happen…but when it does we will know just when it will hit…I’m still amazed by the technology…letting us know down to a half mile, maybe less…

I have kept a page from “Our Daily Bread”, a devotion I use everyday to start my day, I Our Daily Breadnever know why I save them, maybe it was for today…(called “Her Worst Day Ever”)…I will include a small portion of it here…“In May 2011, a young woman took cover in a bathtub during a tornado that devastated her city of Joplin, Missouri. Her husband covered her body with his and took the blows from flying debris. He died, and she survived because of his heroism. She naturally wrestles with the question, ‘Why?’ But a year after the tornado, she said that she finds comfort because even on her worst day ever, she was loved.”

“When I think about ‘worst days ever’, I think of Job right away. A man who loved God, he lost his animals, his servants, and his 10 children in one day! (Job 1:13-19). Job mourned deeply, and he also asked the ‘Why?’ questions…God did not give him the reasons for his suffering, but he listened to Job and did not fault him for his questions. God assured him of His control over everything, and Job trusted Him (42:1-6). The Lord may not give us the reasons for our trials. But, thankfully, even on our worst day ever, we can know for sure we are loved by Him (Romans 8:35-39)”…

And so on that Spring day in Arkansas…and in Little Rock…a small city really…we know or know of, many people here…it is a beautiful time of the year…everything is “new green”, if you know what I mean…the trees are fully leafed out…the azaleas are blooming, dogwoods, flowers of all kinds…it is just beautiful…but even on that kind of day storms can take the heart out of you…when you see the how many people are effected by it…there were 15 people who died in that storm around Little Rock…and hundreds of others with stories from that day…most of them trying to put their lives back together… Tornado, Tittle family

Let me tell you about two stories we know because they work at Family Life…the Tittle family’s home was one of the first ones hit in the storm…as the storm came Rob and his wife, Kerry, were shepherding their kids under the stairway…when the storm hit…he and two of their daughters were killed…his wife and 7 other children were safe…their house disintegrated and only the slab was left…and another large family a few miles away took refuge in their storm shelter just before the tornado hit…they all were safe, their house totally gone…a car was up against the door of the shelter so they couldn’t get out…they called 9-1-1 and they got them out a half hour later…but with all this devastation, things Tornado, April 2014, Tittle homecould certainly have been worse…and those around those who survived are giving thanks for their safety…

I am old enough to not ask the “Why?” question anymore…I really don’t know why these things happen, don’t pretend to know…but I do know this, we can ask “Why?”…it’s okay…and maybe because I am “older”…and have seen so much over the years…I know God is in control…and as I have told so many people over the years, “He knows the answers but He’s not telling”, just as with Job…and though it is a hard world sometime…it is good…I will trust the One Who created it and runs it…because there are no other answers that make much sense…So in the end I have found, “God’s love does not keep us from trials, but sees us through them.”…I am fine with that…

And this same God will see these families through this hard time…His love and care will be there for them…as these two fathers showed us their love and care for their families…know this, these and others will find comfort because even on their worst day…they were loved… 



  1. Hi Jim I was really glad to see your post ! I’ve been wondering and hoping all was well with you and your family. As always I love reading your post.

    Saun in Ohio

    • Saun…thanks for the comment…happy to see your name anytime…keep thinking that you are busy doing all you do…still working with those kids day to day, I imagine…such great work…and yes I have been lacking in my posting, hard to believe someone retired is busy…but it’s true…want to post but things come up and I leave it on my desk undone…but will try to do better…all is well here…hope spring has “sprung” for you…soon summer vacation will be here…and warm weather…for us down here, beastly hot but still enjoy the green and flowers…thanks again for the comment…greet Ohio for me…such a beautiful state…Jim E

  2. Hi Jim, it’s Lisa from the imjustwalking days! I too was concerned when I saw the bad weather that came through Little Rock and said a prayer for you and your family. Just wanted to let you know that.
    Thanks for your inspirational journals. Lisa in Goldsboro, NC

    • Lisa…thanks for the comment…imjustwalking days…that was just a great time…makes me glad to just see your name…I hear from a few from those days…I was talking to Judie about all the people from that time, just yesterday…how we made a connection as we followed Matt Green…that was a time I don’t think I will ever forget…thanks for you concern during that storm…we were close but still 6 miles away is a long way from direct danger…but close enough to be very thankful it wasn’t closer…with no basements like we had in Minnesota, there is no escaping a direct hit…it wipes the house clean…and everyone in it…just fortunate that more weren’t killed…but all of us have story from that day…thanks again Lisa…Oh ya, it’s Lisa in Goldsboro…if I remember your “handle” correctly…maybe needed to add, “NC”…thanks…Jim E

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