Religion Unplugged

Amid tornado wreckage, one man’s faith offers a huge measure of hope

By Bobby Ross Jr. | Religion Unplugged

Editor’s note: Every Friday, “Weekend Plug-In” features analysis, insights and top headlines from the world of faith. Got feedback or ideas for this column? Email Bobby Ross Jr. at

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — Heartbreak and hope.

It’s a combination I’ve witnessed repeatedly when covering catastrophes, from the Oklahoma City bombing to Hurricane Katrina to, most recently, the March 3 Tennessee tornadoes that killed 25 people and injured hundreds.

In a ravaged neighborhood of this community 80 miles east of Nashville, I met a survivor slammed into his basement by the EF-4 twister that destroyed his home.

But rather than lament what he had lost, the man, Gary Flatt, thanked God for fellow Christians who had come to his aid.

“Someone looked at the house and said, ‘It’s unbelievable what a tornado can do,’” Flatt told me, standing amid the scattered debris. “And I told them, ‘No, it’s unbelievable what a bunch of loving Christians can do.’”

Yes, it’s true: People of faith do more than pray after a disaster such as this.

Read the full column.

This column appears in the online magazine Religion Unplugged.

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