God in the Whirlwind
Stories of Grace from the Tornado at Union University
Publisher: B&H Books
Reviewer: Discerning Reader Team
It isn’t everyday that one gets a chance to read a book about your alma mater, written by your college roommate. But then, thankfully, it isn’t everyday that an EF-4 tornado destroys $40 million dollars worth of dormitories without killing a single student.
God in the Whirlwind is a thrilling account of God’s mercy and providence throughout the horrifying tornado that hit Union University on February 5, 2008. The stories compiled by Tim Ellsworth recount how students escaped death by "mere fractions of time or space," meaning that walls and debris fell within inches of students time and again. My own nephew walked out of the rubble alive, as did the sons and daughters of many of my friends.
When the television news crews from around the world converged on the campus in the days following the tornado, they observed Christian joy amidst utterly devastating losses. Led by the prayer and serenity of President David Dockery, the faculty, staff, and student body of Union University showed great Christian courage and strength in spite of the losses.
Even now, the students are preparing to come back to the campus for the fall semester. New dorms have been rebuilt. Damaged buildings are being restored. One day in the future the campus will have little evidence of the destruction that occurred so recently. However, the memories of this event will linger in the hearts and minds of those who were eyewitnesses to the event, as well as alumni like myself who stayed glued to the computer for updates on our beloved Union.
Therefore, a word of thanks goes out to all who told their stories and for Tim in writing them down as a permanent testimony of thanks to God for his grace in preserving life even as material buildings were blown away.