Little Rock, Arkansas

The tornado touched down at 2:25 p.m. The storm raked through Little Rock like a veritable demon, heading northeast to Jacksonville.

The destruction was apocryphal. The injuries are too many to count. There aren’t enough ambulances to go around.

I talked to one victim on the phone.

“You know how everyone says tornadoes sound like freight trains?” the woman explained to me. “Well, they’re wrong, they don’t sound like no train. It sounds like the end of the world. I guaran-damn-tee you.”

This comes a week after the tornadoes in Rolling Fork, Mississippi. Twenty-five were killed. This comes only a few days after the shooting in Nashville, which killed three 9-year-olds and three adults. Will there be no end?

“I can’t believe how fast it happened,” she said. “I didn’t even have time to move. I thought I was dying. I thought it was over.”

The woman on the phone was trying to recount the story of how she survived. About how the ground shook so hard that furniture started moving around the house. But her phone had a bad connection.

She was in the middle of describing uprooted trees, leveled homes, and decimated buildings when, suddenly, her phone went dead and I lost her.

I tried calling her back. No answer. Because lots of phones aren’t working in Arkansas right now.

Namely, because there isn’t any power. Right now there are 74,000 houses without electricity in Central Arkansas. Another 62,000 houses in Pulaski County. In Oklahoma, 32,000 people are sitting in the dark. There are even more outages in Kansas, Texas, and Missouri.


My phone rang.

It was her again. I answered. There was a lot of static.

“Sorry I keep losing you,” she shouted into the phone. “I probably don’t have long, ain’t nobody got cell service out here.”

She was able to say a few words before the phone started cutting out.

The last words she said to me were: “Please just pray for us.”

So that’s what I’m doing. Whoever you are. Wherever you are. Whoever is reading this, I am thinking of you, Arkansas.

You don’t know me, but I am one of the unnumbered millions. We are your brothers and sisters, and we’re located all around this country. And we are offering prayers for you. For your family. For your loved ones. And for anyone without power.

You’re an elderly man, sitting among rubble, waiting for your children to come help you, but you aren’t sure if they even know how to reach you.

You’re seated on the curb in front of what used to be a grocery store, weeping. You really need a cigarette right now, but you’re out.

Maybe you’re staring at your ‘98 Toyota, flipped upward on its side like a child’s toy.

Maybe you’re alone in your dark living room, with a Coleman battery lantern that’s about to go out, and you’re just waiting for news that your family is okay.

Perhaps you’re trying to contact a loved one just to let them know you’re all right, but you can’t get a signal.

Maybe you’re a single mom, your children are hungry right now, and you would feed them if you could, but you can’t because you don’t have a kitchen anymore.

Maybe your iPhone is about to die, and you’re spending your last few minutes scrolling Facebook, just trying to message someone—anyone—for help.

Maybe you’re still in shell shock, and you don’t know what to do right now but browse your newsfeed.

Either way, if you are reading this right now, and you’re about to put your phone away to conserve your battery, give me one more second to say something.

Before you leave, know that some guy you’ve never met is praying for you. And I’m not alone. There are a LOT us folding our hands right now. There are even more in this nation who are on their way to help you as we speak.

We love you. We are with you. We are going to wear out the Good Lord’s ear you’re safe and sound.

I guaran-damn-tee it.


  1. Dee Thompson - April 1, 2023 8:17 pm

    Beautiful. I saw the pictures on the news yesterday, and it looked like a war zone, like London during WWII. Those poor people. Prayers ascending for them. There’s a quote I love that goes something like this: don’t tell God how big the storm is. Tell the storm how big God is! Amen.

  2. Paul Alge - April 2, 2023 3:49 am

    Wow Sean. It’s hard for you to catch a day where you don’t have to write about another disaster of some kind. It’s either crazy people or crazy weather. Wish you had only happy and good to write about for a while. If crazy could go away for a bit. But your words help us hang in there Thanks. ☮️

  3. Leanne Christensen - April 2, 2023 2:38 pm

    Thank you as always for sharing the needs of others and reaching out in love and prayer. I love knowing that each time you do, you reach thousands of us; and with that God hears thousands more prayers as well. Your prayer chain is a mighty one. Bless you.


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