Monday, May 14, 2007

Rebuilding spiritually in Greensburg

When 95 percent of Greensburg, Kan., was leveled May 4 by an F5 tornado, the town's 1,400 residents were left homeless. But yesterday, more than twice the tiny town's population returned to Greensburg for spiritual replenishing.

News reports referred to the mass worship service as a non-denominational gathering. In Los Angeles, that would mean it included Christians and Jews and Muslims and Hindus and non-believers, too. In Kansas, it means Methodists and Catholics and Lutherans.

It remains unclear what will come of Greensburg. USA Today asked, "Can the town be saved? And if so, will enough folks return to make it the community it was 10 days ago, before the tornado?"

For the religious minded, this is, of course, one of the most difficult occurrences to reconcile with a benevolent God.

At the worship service, Tim Henning, pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in Greensburg, compared town residents to Job, whom God tested by allowing Satan to take strip from him his family, his prosperity and his health.

“We are like him, we lost everything,” he said.

Henning reminded residents that God was still with them.

“Trust in the Lord with all your strength — God bless Greensburg,” he said.

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