Earlier this month, residents of Lee County, Ala., had their lives turned upside down when they were hit by an EF4-rated tornado, with winds of around 170 mph. At least 23 people were killed, some of them children. As a result, March 3 was dubbed the deadliest day of tornadoes in the U.S. in almost six years.
That’s likely why images of a prayer closet that stood through it all, shared by a chaplain, have gone viral, as the community needed a vision of hope.
Chaplain Jason Smith was in the area with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team after the storm, when he saw a house torn apart. But there was one room of the structure that remained standing.
“I just left a family who survived the tornado in this house and the only left standing is this closet. It’s the grandmother’s prayer closet, and the whole family survived,” Smith shared on Facebook. “My God is awesome!”
He shared photos of the foundation with two partial walls standing, the remnants of a woman’s prayer closet.
For the uninitiated, some Christians take the word of the Bible quite literally and will set aside a room, or a closet, that is dedicated to prayer, as per Matthew 6:5-6. The verse reads, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”