This is a subject that is so serious, so tragic, it’s difficult to sit down in front of a computer screen to “get started”. I will say that “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I wandered, weak and weary…..” doesn’t even come close to a beginning statement.
You can’t have missed the news reports on TV and radio, newspaper front pages, the streaming on computers, the constant coverage on cable channel TV – and if you’re anything like me, the images are so stark and devastating to watch, the television at my house doesn’t stay on very long after days 1 through 4…..
Full disclosure time: I am a native Texan, born in HOUSTON, my parents lived in a tiny post-WWII house on Tangley Street, a few steps from Rice University. I was a “student” at the Tiny Tot Kindergarten, attended Condit Elementary School, and when I was 8 years old, my Dad was transferred to Oklahoma City. I have pictures of all to prove those statements, including photos of me with a cast on my arm beside my parents in front of our house on an Easter morning, a picture of me with my Dad at the San Jacinto Monument, and one of me on the beach in Galveston. My only negative memory? Humidity – knife-cutting humidity. Constant outdoor stickiness of the skin.
Fast forward a few dozen years – Hurricane Harvey. Oh my. I cannot imagine the hurt, fear, devastation, angst, anxiety, loss, negativity, futility, physical and mental and emotional pain, worry about more things possible to list, but including home, car, job, grocery store, toxic water, contamination, illnesses to come, etc. Did everyone I know get out safely? What about all those animals? Cattle, horses, sheep, goats, lost pets, drowned pets – and the people who drowned in their struggle to escape. The list just does not stop.
If you have for one second forgotten that all of America has you in mind, you need to, in addition to your worry, reassess. First responders, volunteers from every walk of life, donations of food, diapers, baby formula, toilet paper, huge commercial buildings opened immediately to shelter those affected – I could write a whole page that studies the fact that things Houstonians, those in Corpus Christi, Beaumont, and all in between are experiencing right now – are temporary. Due to the kindness and generosity of your fellow Americans, you have been unbelievably blessed. I know it’s hard to hear that in the midst of the dreary, fearful fog in your brain at this moment. But from every corner of this nation, you are in the daily prayers of so many.
I was asked to give the closing prayer in my Sunday School class yesterday – the crux of that prayer was my plea that all who have been so critically affected by this tragic event would hold fast to their beliefs, that no one would ditch their faith, and that God would wrap his arms tightly around each person– with such strength that everyone could feel Him close.
I end this with 3 scriptures – I pray that you will read them – and believe.
1 Corinthians 6:13 – “Be careful, hold firmly to your faith. Have courage and be strong.”
Galatians 6:9 – “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest.”
Psalm 18:2 – “But the Lord is my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is the mighty rock and my refuge where I hide.”
Peace to all of you who live in southeast Texas, and to those others – family and friends, neighbors and strangers, who are showing you God’s love in their helping. God be with you, each and every one.