Hurricane Harvey has landed ashore during the same week the sun forced millions to lay down their phones and go outdoors. Is it coincidence that during these days of absolute political chaos when Washington has provided ever increasing evidence that our leader is not up to the task of caring for all the Americans under his wing that we are reminded that nature is fierce, fantastic, forceful? Are we not being pointed to a different leader who doesn’t abandon any during a crisis and speaks words of unification that can be found in the life and actions of His representative, Jesus, no need to wait for the next tweet or rally? Love your neighbor, entertain angels, be still. I would argue that as the world becomes crazier and more hate captures the headlines, Our God is bigger, stronger, more present than ever in the everyday interactions between real people. We are being invited to participate in saving not just Houston but our communities.
As millions face the devastating losses that are sure to follow in the wake of the Harvey, we all have the opportunity to show our best selves. America is amazing at rising to these challenges, donations to charities surge with the water and churches across the country ready their teams of builders and cleaners who swoop in, skin color of recipient never a question. Yet smaller floods of pain and worry swirl within our own communities, losses that break the backs and hopes of people who ride the bus with us, roofs of sorrow at mounting debt from healthcare for our elderly and our addicted cave in on those who sit at our lunch table. Children with no books in their homes or homes to carry their books to, communities of color that have been targeted by an unjust war on drugs as surely as if the eye of the hurricane landed within their neighborhood, all across America. We are surrounded by hurting people, everyday. Can we see them, without a catastrophic natural event?
Our better angels tell us to rush to Houston, to text money to the Red Cross, to support all the relief efforts. As the waters subside and the rebuilding begins, as the news cycle seeks out the next big event, I urge us all to keep listening to the angels. Those stories that fill us with hope, the boys in boats rescuing others stranded by the waters, the folks who find animals left behind and reunite them with owners, we can be those stories. We can be the next flood that covers our community with hope and after school snacks and a chance for a future. Hurricanes are rain droplets, one joined with another, strengthened by wind, all concentrated on a goal. What if we became a hurricane in our community, one connection at a time that grows from a rain shower of love into a tropical storm of generosity into a hurricane of hope and acceptance? We have a leader who has set this very example for us, who has asked us to love our neighbor.
As we sit frustrated by our inability to go rebuild houses in Houston, our desire to help pushing us and we aren’t sure what to do, listen. Those angels are telling us to go, to get out of our comfort zones and talk to someone who is hurting and needs our assistance. Houston is all around us, hurting is everywhere, together, we can bring on healing waters.