We have all seen the days and days of pictures, videos, and newscasts about Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Our hearts break as we watch the devastation; children terrified, families losing their belongings and some even losing their lives in these horrendous storms. It just seems unbelievable as we see the trees toppled, homes and vehicles covered with dirty water, and streets turned into rushing rivers.
I have been impressed with the preparation, warnings and instructions that come from governors and mayors as well as first responders. “Get out of your house and get to a shelter. This is going to be the biggest one we have ever had! Don’t wait until the last minute. We can’t save you once the storm hits.” Oh, I remember those urgent warnings.
Thousands upon thousands heeded those warnings, but then there are those who said on camera, “Oh, I have made it through three other hurricanes and I ain’t goin’ nowhere this time either. We will just hunker down and ride it out.” That is their choice, of course.
For me, if there was a strong suggestion to evacuate, I would be outta there! Believe me! Especially if I had kids. Our kids trust us, as moms and dads, to protect them and keep them out of harm’s way. They also look to us for an example of wisdom, discernment, and heeding official warnings. Choices. Choices. Choices.
I remember when Hurricane Harvey went through Texas, how devastating it was, but when the wind and rain stopped, there were thousands upon thousands of people ready to help evacuate, rescue and bring aid to those caught in the storm. There were trucks, military vehicles, boats, rafts, canoes and people ready to carry people and their necessary belongings and pets out of harm’s way. Churches, stadiums, and schools opened their doors to those who were misplaced, afraid, distraught and traumatized. Charities “flooded” the area with supplies of food, water, bedding, clothing, etc. Millions of us contributed to these charities to do our part from afar.
I always pray for the clergy involved whenever there is a catastrophe, that the Lord will guide them and give them the emotional and physical strength they will need to minister. Wow! What an experience that would be, huh?
Now, THIS is what America is about; neighbor helping neighbor, all races helping all races, lifting up the elderly, children, the sick and the lame. People opening their homes to whoever might need shelter. People, with a heart for animals, helping them get to safe ground and be fed and watered. My heart swells when I think of all of this because THIS is the America I pledge allegiance to, stand up for, and rise in pride for. “God bless America; my home sweet home.”
May we all look at the last couple of weeks and think of ways we can keep moving together as an American people, despite our differences. Let our love and compassion for others overshadow hatred and bitterness in tangible ways. May we reject and not engage in toxic words and actions that seek to divide and destroy. May we follow God’s Word in Eph. 5:1,2 “Be imitators of God as dearly loved children and LIVE A LIFE OF LOVE, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
We answer to God first for our actions and words, before we answer to our country or political party. We need to breathe and start over, America. Today.
This Tuesday, September 12, our guest on Chained No More will be author, speaker, humorist, and coach, Kathy Carlton Willis. She lives in Beaumont, Texas, the worst hit area during Hurricane Harvey. She and her husband are still digging out from that storm and will share their experiences and also her inspiring perspective. You can hear her interview at 2-3pm ET at www.toginet.com. You can also download the podcast anytime later at www.toginet.com/shows/chainednomore.
For those of you who “rode the waves” of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma or had loved ones who did, may God bring peace back to you as you rebuild and comfort those around you. We have been praying for you and will continue as you move forward.
“The righteous cry out and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are brokenhearted.” Ps. 34