A devastating tornado hit Joplin, Missouri, killing at least 16 people. One of the buildings in the twister’s path was the St. John’s Regional Medical Center. Five patients and one visitor were killed. Hospital walls were knocked as far as ten feet out of place. Rooms were strewn with broken glass, ceiling tiles, and pieces of concrete. X-rays and medical records were sucked out and found as far as two counties away.
“Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” —James 1:12
Emergency room physician Dr. Jim Riscoe was at home when the tornado struck. He received a text from his team saying that the emergency room was gone.
He arrived on the scene to witness the mass evacuation of 180 patients.
“It looked like a nuclear disaster. Cars had been thrown like playing cards. Power lines were sparking,” Riscoe said. The staff set up a triage center in the parking lot among crushed cars and a smashed helicopter.
Dr. Riscoe praised the St. John staff, “They’re the kind of people that you just can’t knock down. I had staff show up that were hurt, but they worked all night long. It’s a testimony to the human spirit.”
We can turn on the news and see the worst side of people and the evil in the world every day, but we must pay attention to the selflessness and sacrifice that so many make daily that never reach the headlines.
ALMIGHTY GOD, although natural disasters are difficult for us to understand, we often see the best in people during those tragic times. Thank You for the strength we gain from seeing the bravery and sacrifice of others. Help me in those moments of my life to rise to the occasion and be an inspiration to others.