The documentary is about stories started with a storm but came together to help bring light to the darkest of days
Powerful. Emotional. Inspiring. Uplifting.
All of these are correct but they don’t come close to giving a complete description of the new movie “Where Was God?” that opens May 16 in limited release.
The movie is a documentary but there is an incredible storyline about how two terrible tornados in Moore, Okla. and Joplin, Mo. created a storyline that wove together the lives of several families.
Most of the stories are about people who never knew God before and felt the pain of asking where He was after facing life’s most tragic events. All of them found the answer for them was that God was very real and with them through the storms of life. In the end, their lives were changed as much by that discovery as they were by the tornados.
This isn't “Twister” with Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt inexplicably surviving an F5 by strapping themselves to a pipe. This is a documentary with survivors explaining where they found God during and after some of life's worst storms. The film moves at a deliberate pace, weaving back and forth between the survivors, volunteers and pastors whose lives were forever changed by these events.
One of the featured couples had already been forced to rebuild their lives after drugs, alcohol and multiple bad decisions had left them at a breaking point. As their lives were being rebuilt, the storm blew away everything they had worked for.
Another couple talked about their only son who came into their family despite doctors telling them they would never have children. They lost him in the Plaza Towers Elementary School.
No matter how much you have in your life, you can never lose more than a person who loses their child.
Whether it is to cancer, an accident or a violent tornado, that loss is impossible to understand if you haven't felt it yourself. That is where the Moore story intersects with Joplin. A woman and her daughter who lost two family members to the Joplin storm came to Moore and helped walk with this couple through the darkest days they could have ever imagined.
After facing their own grief and pain, they used that experience to help others.
The hardest thing for many people is to continue to trust God when you don't know the answer to the question, “Why?”
Stacey McCabe, who lost her young son said the peace of God is something that you can't explain until you have felt Him wrap his arms around you.
“God is the only one who can comfort you when you have lost a child,” she said.
Pastor Steven Earp of Elevate Church in Moore – who ministers to many families affected by the storm - said, “The reality is that none of us know what it is like to lose a child except for someone who has lost a child. Where is God when I am going through tough times? He is there. He is ahead of us. He is walking with us through it.”
Probably the best story in the entire film tells about teacher Karin Marinelli who literally placed her body on top of three students from her class. All three students escaped unharmed while she endured broken vertebrae and multiple puncture wounds when the brick wall fell in on top of her.
Marinelli said the damage to the school was so bad, the scene didn’t seem real. A year after the walls fell in on her, she is back in the classroom teaching. She is able to walk again and she and her husband are even expecting a child.
Where Was God tells these stories well. Almost everyone will be able to related to at least one of the families represented in the film.
All of these stories started with a storm but they came together to help bring light to the darkest of days.
The families in the film found hope in their heartbreak, support in their sorrow, and they found God in places and circumstances where they never expected Him to be. work, in our society it just isn’t.
Bush is the publisher of the Butler County Times Gazette and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org