On August 25th, at around 10pm, as Hurricane Harvey made landfall, it peaked as a Category 4 storm. The storm then hung in the weighty air over Texas, torturing Houston and surrounding areas even further, moving slowly to the east and the north, adversely affecting multiple states. But before it was all over, a record-breaking rainfall of 51″ fell in one area, Cedar Bayou, near Houston. And many, many, many were affected.
The devastation was long-reaching. Irreparable. At this point, the death toll is at 60.
As the nation watched the storm from afar through the eyes of news anchors, as well as Facebook and instagram posts, tweets, youtube videos, our hearts were wrenched in sorrow for our fellow Americans, for humans (and their pets) struggling to survive, suffering as they waited on rooftops to be rescued, weeping as they lost every possession.
At our home, we found ourselves praying together each day and night for them.
Praying for those who were waiting to have strength until they were found.
Praying for those who have lost loved ones to be engulfed in God’s loving arms.
Praying for hope to come to our American brothers and sisters.
We also found ourselves being so very grateful for the simplest things we have here at home.
A comfortable bed.
A roof over our heads.
Dry shoes and socks.
Harvey was horrible. The aftermath will be long and difficult. Rebuilding will be a monumental task.
It’s a huge thing that we have seen.
But something bigger happened. We all saw it. The nations watched.
In the middle of the chaos and all of the overwhelmingly bad news was this one realization: when it comes down to it, when it’s a life and death situation, when the rubber meets the road – men and women, boys and girls have no skin color, no ethnicity, no religious affiliation.
What I viewed over and over on video after video, photograph after photograph, was one human being helping another, being kind to another, risking life for another, serving one another.
As military and first responders were dispatched, so were the minutemen: the bass fishermen with their boats, the pastors and ministries with helping hands of hope, the truckers with semis full of donated diapers, water, meal bars, canned goods and more, ready to be given where it was required, the utility workers in their work-trucks ready to bring order to chaos, the passionate youth groups in their matching t-shirts ready to lift boxes and hand out groceries.
And the list goes on.
Americans ran to the aid of their brothers and sisters. And I saw unity.
I saw it in the flood zones and in the shelters. I saw it on the highway as trucks lined up all heading the same way for the same purpose. I saw it in little towns as they worked together to quickly send supplies.
In my little town, eleven hours from Harvey’s target, as soon as we found out the storm was coming, ministers and leaders in the community began collecting food and supplies to drive to Texas. And more supplies will be heading that way again.
Yes, as our family prayed for Texas, Louisiana and other areas affected – as the entire nation was called to prayer by our President on September 3, as we waited and interceded on behalf of those suffering, I believe that something shifted in our land.
Let’s not forget what really matters. Let’s hold fast to the most important things. Love God, and love one another.
That’s all that we really have, when it all boils down. Let’s continue to pray for Texas and other areas affected. And send help.
Not just for Texas.
For our families, our neighbors, our communities, even those we don’t really like – let’s pray for one another. Let’s not hold grudges. Let’s live each moment as if tomorrow it could all be over. Let’s love God, and really love another.