The Oklahoma Standard. It is thriving in the midst of suffering, chaos, and adversity. It is all hands on deck. It is whatever for whoever - and whoever needs it most.
I've watched the Oklahoma Standard unfold before my eyes the past seven days. Seven days.
I can't believe it is the one-week anniversary of the great wind that changed our lives forever. The days have felt like months and this week has felt like a year.
I was given a great gift in the midst of those days. Many have heard the amazing testimony of Scott Lewis. He was able to rescue his son, Zack, from Plaza Towers Elementary, barely in time to get into his storm shelter in his home just beside the school. His home is no more. Seven of Zack's classmates have entered into eternity.
My husband, John, connected with Scott early on in the aftermath. John was comforting families in the wreckage of the school overnight immediately after the storm's passing. It was in those hours that their friendship began.
We went to visit Scott in the middle of last week. We wanted to be sure he had plenty of hydration and materials needed to gather what he could salvage in the area that he used to call home. It was in that visit that I met Barbara, Scott's mom. As we talked and surveyed the storm's destruction, I happened to look down on what had once been a very flourishing flowerbed. All that remained were little green, weather-worn nubs. Daylilies. Barbara saw my wondering eyes and told me what they once were. In Oklahoma Standard spirit she said, "Would you like to take them home?" She was standing in the rubble of her son's home, and yet was offering to me a little of the very little they have left.
And so we dug.
The remnants of flowering beauty came home with me in a plastic sack. They waited for my attention while we gathered ourselves together to minister to our congregation on Sunday. And today they became part of my healing.
I by no means have a green thumb. So I made myself research daylilies online to be sure I knew how to care for them. This is what I found:
Daylilies are rugged, adaptable, vigorous perennials that endure in a garden for many years with little or no care. Daylilies adapt to a wide range of soil and light conditions. They establish quickly, grow vigorously, and survive winters with little or no injury.
Other sites called them the "perfect perennial" because of their steadfastness in the plant world. Daylilies must be Oklahomans. Adaptable, virgourous, enduring, surviving, re-establishing themselves quickly, and growing vigorously.
And so today I replanted the Oklahoma Standard.
One for the garden of the home in which I live. So that every Salvation Army minister that lives here from this day on may remember the Standard and the calling of Christ to love those in this community. One for the homes in which I'll live in the future - when the Lord calls me to other communities, a piece of Moore will abide with me. One for my leaders who have ministered to our family as we walk this journey. One for my sweet friend whose text messages helped us navigate our escape from the storm. One for another precious friend who has been the vision of the Oklahoma Standard for me, even in days before this tragedy.
Romans 8 reminds us that all creation waits for redemption. These precious blooms will remind me that all of creation cries out, "Maranatha!" Come, Lord Jesus. Come quickly. Make us whole. New forever. World without end.