Friday, June 13, 2008


When I heard of the latest weather-related disaster, in which four young men at a Boy Scout outing were wiped out when an F3 tornado struck their camp, my initial impulse was to make some sort of stupid joke. Something along the lines of, “Well, there’s one troop that won’t be handing out any merit badges for weather forecasting!”

But the words never got past my lips. I like to think I thought better of it all by myself, but it may very well be the fact that She Who Must Be Obeyed was with me.

SWMBO is a living testament to the grief and pain that a weather-related death can bring to a family, to a community, having lost her sister to a stroke of lightning on July 4, 1975. It was almost 33 years ago, but there’s not a day that goes by when everyone in her family experiences a silent, inner pang. And I mourn for the sister-in-law I never knew.

The Boy Scouts at that campground - the survivors - learned a painful lesson in the power of Nature. It’s the kind of schooling that any of us can be subject to at any moment. I hope they can draw strength from one another and help each other through the grieving and recovery process.

May the Father of Compassion grant perfect peace to the young men whose lives were so tragically cut short Wednesday night...and may He offer consolation to their families.

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