MOORE, Okla – Mother Nature can be cruel, descending from the sky unannounced to let loose her destruction and heartache.
May 20, 2013 was one of those dark days.
Kevin and Ruth Beaver were unaware of what was churning straight toward their Moore home.
Friends had tried, frantically, to warn the young couple, but the cell service was already down.
A relentless friend, Taylor Bradley, refused to give up.
“Somehow, Taylor’s call got through and told us to leave, ” said Kevin.
With the clothes on their backs, and the family pets in tow, they bolted with only precious seconds between life and death.
“When we left, the tornado was in our rear view mirror. We literally only had two minutes before the tornado hit us,” Kevin remembers.
Once the storm settled, Kevin and Ruth returned to utter devastation.
Taylor Bradley organized a search team, rallying friends and family to unearth anything of sentimental value.
With an entire neighborhood annihilated, it would be nearly impossible to distinguish what belonged to his friends.
“A bunch of my friends just packed things in tubs they thought were ours. Later, we sifted through and found what was ours and what was you know, someone else’s,” he said.
Deep inside one of those plastic tubs was a mystery Bible.
Once again, Taylor Bradley came to the rescue.
“First thing I did was flip it open and saw, everyone writes their name or has it engraved. I figured this should be easy to figure out who it is, ” said Bradley.
Bradley would launch a mission to return the lost Bible, and it all started with a Facebook post.
After not hearing a thing, Bradley thumbed through the book and found an old church flier that was buried in the well-worn pages.
It led him straight to Highland Baptist Church.
“I have this Bible. It looks like she was part of your church group, and I’d really like to get it back to the family,” said Bradley.
The Bible belonged to church member Cindy Plumley.
The grandmother, who is known for her amazing smile, lived several blocks away from where her Bible was found.
Tragically, Cindy was killed on May 20 and her family had nothing of hers left.
Little did they know, Cindy’s prized possession had somehow been shielded from Mother Nature’s wrath.
“An EF5 tornado comes and takes this tree out, but the hand of God preserves that Bible under that tree. This tornado that should have taken it and ripped it into a million pieces, instead, here it is perfectly preserved. What I saw, the Bible was in mint, perfect condition,” said Pastor Dave Evans, with Highland Baptist Church.
Pastor Evans believes it was a genuine miracle, a very personal message, purposely spared for a heartsick family.
“She was just speaking out of these journals, notes and things she had written. It was just beautiful,” Evans said.
Evans had the pleasure of reuniting the Bible with Plumley’s children.
“God saved this, preserved this for you guys. This is a piece of your mom. She’s here with you.’ It was overwhelming emotion. This is a giant man, and he’s so choked up he can’t even speak, that’s what it was like,” he said.
Grieving children now have an irreplaceable keepsake; placed under a tree, for the right person to find, and promptly return.
“Right in the middle of this mess, God does something really beautiful. I love you. I love you. I love you. and that’s what he does. Now they have something so personal. It was just an incredible gift from God. Just an amazing blessing,” Evans said.
A blessing … not even Mother Nature could destroy.