This photo, along with those that blared red, brought us all to our knees! I have tried to put perspective to what it felt like for the many of us who had loved ones and friends in harm’s way. We knew we couldn’t possibly know how the experience felt first hand….we couldn’t feel the same fear, the same uncertainty, the same camaraderie that offers such solace and comfort. We couldn’t know the trust that is built, house by house, neighborhood by neighborhood, county by county. Shared resources aren’t bound by usual definitions, rather a commitment to all rather than few.
For our family, we have watched our brother Bill and his family in Texas weather Hurricane Harvey…..closely followed by sister Laura and her family doing the same near Tampa with Hurricane Irma.
It has been like watching a train barrel down the tracks, our families stalled at a crossing gate! Will they make it out in time? Will the train brake in time? What can we do?
At first blush, I would say we can do nothing! We are completely helpless on dry land with sunny skies above while they wait for an event out of their control! They prepare, they gather at a communion table only they can know.
Our ardent prayers provide a way of communicating our love, both for the Christ who loves us and the families far away. Our texts and emails affirm a family connection that offers another form of communion, though many miles apart. Our feelings of helplessness diminish, only to roar back when the time arrives…..when we know the wind is blowing, the rain is relentless, when darkness seems very long! At midnight Sunday night, TV blaring, we can barely breathe for the worry! Tears of relief finally sent us to bed!
It is good to be on this side of Harvey and Irma…..safe family members in homes with power, lives getting back on track. They are grateful beyond measure. We are, too.
So now we remain called to pray for those not so fortunate….those without a home, or a flooded home, those whose way of life will never return, those with no power, those with few resources, those who see no hope this day. They need a body of prayer that covers them. They need our help in the ways we can provide. They need “compassion fatigue” to be replaced with long term compassion and care.
They need us to be their neighbors, regardless of where we live.