The Columbus tornadoes last weekend are a reminder that Mississippi has the highest per capita deaths from tornadoes of any state in the country at 132 per million. Our prayers are extended to the family of Ashley Pounds who lost her life. We pray the church that was destroyed will rebuild quickly. At least Mississippi doesn’t suffer from raging forest fires or earthquakes.
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, went to Columbus to help. What he saw there is a reminder of the great spirit of the people in Mississippi, especially in the face of tragedy. Speaking to the Stennis Press Forum at the Capital Club in downtown Jackson, Hosemann said, “It was a miracle there wasn’t more loss of life. People came from everywhere. And I’ve seen it time after time. People pulled up in this neighborhood and starting hauling logs off, picking up stuff, putting tarps on roofs and there was no relation to race, color, creed or national origin, economic status. None of that mattered. They would just pull up and get out with a pair of gloves and went to work. Every neighborhood was that way. It reminds me of Mississippi just being a giant neighborhood. When you really get down to it, that’s what we are. The government will do its part, MEMA (the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency) will do its part, but in the end, most of the heavy lifting, literally, is done by our fellow citizens. And every time I see this it’s a reminder that I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else but right here.”
Compared to other states, Mississippi does not have as much material abundance, but we should remind ourselves that our spiritual abundance is great. Mississippi is the most spiritual state in the union with the highest church attendance and the greatest percentage of believers. Despite our state’s relative lack of wealth, Mississippians give more per capita than all the other states. The poorest state is the most generous. Think on that for a moment. Also ponder this question: What is more important, material abundance or spiritual abundance?
Hosemann is correct. It’s a great blessing to live in Mississippi.