As I drove home from work one night last October, my husband called me. "Jen, how close are you? You need to hurry. It's getting rough." We'd had several tornados come through our parish that afternoon, but I'd left for home after a break in a storm, thinking the worst was over. It hadn't begun.

Phil told me there was a new tornado in our area. As soon as he said this, a massive burst of wind hit my car, pushing it out of it's lane. Rain began to pound so heavily, I could barely see the road. I fought my way to a nearby school two miles from my house, and pulled next to the building. Lightning struck the ground repeatedly, unlike anything I had ever seen. The thunder raged, and my car began to shake in the wind.

I was terrified. And I realized that I was witnessing the fury of a world gone wrong.

After several long minutes, the wind and rain eased, and I was able to drive the two miles to my house, barely ahead of the floodwaters washing over the road that night. I lifted my hands in praise to God when I made it through the door.

In Genesis, God tells us when he created the world, it was good. At that time, there were no torndos, earthquakes, fires, sicknesses, heartbreak, or death. And God walked the earth with man.

Can you envision such a place? Complete peace, perfect health, endless energy, and no knowledge of pain or sorrow. I truly cannot fathom it. This life is so difficult! But that is how God intended it when He made this world -- happy and at one with Him.

Then the enemy brought the darkness. He, who wanted to be God but failed, desired to bring God's creation into despair with him. He told Adam he could be like God, in control of his own destiny. Man believed the lie.... and I nearly ended up tornado rubble.

There is true horror in the fall. In Romans 8:22, we are told, "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time." The tsnunamis and hurricanes we saw at the beginning of the decade made many question, "Why?" The earthquake in Haiti left so many orphans and homeless. A broken marriage, a crippling car wreck, war, a miscarriage... we know the pain.

All around us, people are deeply hurting. Many feel hopeless, helpless, and empty. Each terrible event leaves us longing for what should have been and appalled by what is. We see the difference, and it is sickening.

Oh, if Eve hadn't eaten that apple! Right? Surely none of us would have believed the devil's lie and wanted to become like God. Surely we'd have had enough sense to know we had a good thing going and would not want to ruin it. The ugly truth is, we all believed the lie at some point in our lives. In some way, we have each tried to be like God and have told him we no longer need Him because we wanted to do it our way instead. We have all sinned. We each carry the darkness with us.

Thankfully, God sent his son, Jesus, the Word made flesh, to bear ours sins. The sinless creator chose to become a man and to be our replacement, suffering and dying so our sins could be forgiven. He defeated death, rising from the grave after three days. He is the light that banishes the darkness. He is the water that brings eternal life. Though in this life our bodies still must die, Jesus gives us new, ressurected bodies like his, so we can live with him forever. As one with God again, intended from the beginning. If we are willing to admit our sin and turn to Him.

I hate sin.

Two weeks ago, I watched my mother die. After battling cancer for many years, cancer that crippled her young body and impaired her mind, she died. Each cancer milestone we faced left me nauseated. Milestones like new brain tumors, necrosis, the end of treatments, and hospice. This woman with tremendous talents and dreams, who hadn't yet seen grandchildren born, was taken from this world.