A narrow miss and a brand new view
By GLENN HANNIGAN
Gayle Hubbard Arnold didn’t pray for a better view of the mountains that surround her home outside Cleveland, Ga.
She got one anyway.
“God spared my home but opened up a new world - a great view of the mountains,” she said.
But it wasn’t only her home that God spared during the severe winds and deadly tornadoes that swept through Georgia two weeks ago. A friend who was house-sitting for Arnold narrowly escaped.
“I talked with him shortly before the storms swept through,” said Dr. Rev. Arnold, an elder in full connection on disability leave. “I told him he had to get into the bathtub with some pillows.”
Arnold’s house-sitter remembered he had left something in his car, which he went to retrieve. For a moment, he thought it might be safer sitting out the storm inside the vehicle.
“Then he remembered me screaming,” Arnold said. “He heard my voice telling him to get into the bathtub.”
He left the car and headed toward the house. Moments later, a huge tree crushed the vehicle.
“His car was cut in half through the driver’s seat,” Arnold said.
Arnold, who was in Sanibel Island to lead an Easter sunrise service, came home to find hundreds of trees strewn across her mountain property.
“Miraculously, my home has only minor damage,” she said. “But we will be cleaning up the debris for a long, long time.”
Volunteers from Mossy Creek UMC and New Salem UMC helped clean up the debris on the road to her home, but there is much more work to be done. She has hired a team of workers to continue clean up the massive tangle of trees.
“This will be a very lengthy process,” Arnold said. “But I know God’s mercies are new every morning.”