A heavy, hopeful heart

I can't possibly write this column without letting you know that my family's thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their lives, their loved ones or all their worldly belongings in the tornadoes that went through Oklahoma this week. We've also had some tornadoes here in Texas — just north of my home in the Waco area — that were devastating to the folks who live there.

Words fail me when I think of what these people have gone through and the long healing process they face as they move forward. My heart breaks for them.

One thing about these tragedies that gives me hope for all of us is that our nation always rallies around those in need or in trouble. Americans are a resilient people, and it's one of many reasons I'm proud to be one and to live here.

I hope everyone reading this will find a way to reach out to those who have suffered so much recently. I'm not talking just about those in Oklahoma or Texas or elsewhere who have been through tornadoes. I'm also talking about those who have been through other disasters, calamities and challenges and need our help.

Maybe you don't have the financial wherewithal to make a donation to a relief effort. Maybe you're not close enough to get in your car and volunteer on site. There's still something you can do — something almost all of us can do if we think for a moment and truly care about our fellow man.

You could pray for them. If you have a church, civic group or bass club you might raise money that could make a real difference in the relief effort. If you're healthy and able, you could donate blood that might save a life. The possibilities are limited only by our imaginations and our desire to make a difference.

If you know me or have been a regular reader of this column, you know that my faith and my family are the most important things in my life. Right now, all across our country, thousands of Americans are having their faith tested and their families torn apart. Helping them in whatever way we can is probably the greatest contribution any of us can make to this great nation right now.

I appreciate your reading my column, especially since I haven't even mentioned bass fishing. Trust me when I say there's nothing I'd rather talk about.

Bass fishing is what brings you and me together. It's a strong bond and one that I hope will cause our paths to cross one day soon. Even so, it's not the strongest bond we share, and it's not the one that most needs our support right now.

Next week let's talk fishing.

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