Friday was a tough day in Coshocton County.
In addition to the challenging personal times we are living through (and there are more than I care to list here), it was a heavy day. It started with sirens wailing around town and I texted my wife and daughters to make sure everyone was accounted for.
Amy texted back “I am fine. But Grace Church is on fire.”
Grace United Methodist Church has been an iconic place of worship for over 100 years. I went to church there as a teen. Amy and I were married there. And so were thousands of others in Coshocton County. The fire completely overwhelmed the church. And as our brave local firefighters battled to contain the fire, locals just watched…heartbroken and helpless.
The after-effects, naturally, slowed the community down.
Streets were closed. Traffic was re-directed. And there was a strange heavy haze that fell over the community…and I am not just talking about the smoke. It was just heavy.
Photos and videos made their way to social media that showed the destruction…and it got heavier.
Hours later, as the community was just settling down, everyone heard a loud bang! And when I say “everyone,” I mean it. The sound brought my entire neighborhood out in the street to see what had happened. It sounded as if there had been a huge thunderclap…but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.
What we found out was there had been an explosion at the local ethanol plant around 6 miles from my home. Thankfully, no injuries were reported. But it was incredibly scary.
As I said, it was a tough day.
There is no sugar-coating it. It felt like a gut punch to the entire community. While I did not attend Grace United Methodist Church (right now), the whole community seems to have memories there. We all have friends that attend. And on a day when we watched that iconic building burn to have an explosion rock a local plant just seemed surreal.
Our nerves were shaken. We were sad. And many of us were scared.
We all have tough days. It’s a part of life. Some days are more frustrating and traumatic than others to be sure. But we will all face them. So…what do we do on the day after the tough day?
The Day After The Tough Day
One of the things I love about my community in Coshocton County is the day after the tough day. While many of our community is in a mourning period, many others are working to lift them up. There are local leaders working to create a plan for what can be done next. And of course, there are those that wake up the next day, and get to work.
And sometimes, on the day after the tough day, that is exactly what needs to be done.
- Lift up those that are struggling.
- Create a plan to move forward.
- Get to work on creating the future.
It was a tough day (a tough week for that matter). But here we are. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone touched by these challenges.
Here’s to hoping we can go through all of these 3 stages…together.
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