After the devastating bomb cyclone tore through the country last week, the midwest has suffered intense flooding that has killed four people and left hundreds displaced so far.
The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency has declared emergencies in 74 cities, 65 counties and four tribal areas as on March 18, 2019.
Other parts of the country such as Iowa, South Dakota and Wisconsin have also succumbed to high water levels leaving homes, farms and ranches hopelessly destroyed.
Even Vice President Mike Pence is flying to Nebraska to survey the amount of damage that the aftermath of the storm has caused.
While government officials plan ways to help those affected, locals have had to grieve property loss including their livelihood: their cattle herds.
Blaire DeBoer, a Nebraska-native, brilliantly summed up the emotions of those affected by the floods in a prayer that is now going viral.
DeBoer originally posted “God, Bless the Rancher” on her own Facebook page, but the prayer was quickly picked up by Donna VanLiere where it touched the heart of thousands of people. Its title was inspired by a shirt that she bought in 2017 after wildfires destroyed land across Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
The prayer put words to the thousands of silent prayers being said across the Midwest.
It highlighted the feeling of helplessness that many ranchers experienced as they had to give their cattle an opportunity to escape on their own because they were unable to transport all of them to higher ground.
The prayer also illustrated examples of hard decisions that ranchers needed to make, like taking extra precautions to save calves but not their mothers.
DeBoer’s prayer specifically mentioned the story of 50-year-old Nebraska farmer James Wilke who hopped on his tractor Thursday, March 14, 2019, to save a trapped motorist from the rising flood. As Wilke’s tractor drove over a bridge, the bridge collapsed and he was swept away in the river below.
His body was found later not too far from his house.
Jodi L. Hefti, a friend of Wilke, later wrote in an emotional Facebook post, “Not all HEROES wear capes or uniforms. I know a TRUE HERO who wore a T-shirt, blue jeans, work boots and drove a John Deer Tractor.”
Lastly, DeBoer’s prayer talked about the despair felt by ranchers as they watched their property be washed away and their cattle looked to them for help.
The conditions in the Midwest are truly heartbreaking and has caused many people to look toward God for comfort and help. It’s not surprising that this well-worded prayer has gone viral.
When you have a moment today, pause and pray similarly for those who have been affected. I know I will be.
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