Whether from a cataclysmic event, war, or a bad choice; an unexpected disease or stupid car accident — all of us have suffered loss and had to pick ourselves up. Some who had more dangerous missions had to be picked up by others and undergo lengthy medical treatments.
In these politically charged days littered with arguments and short fuses, there has seemed to be much that is nasty, hateful and perhaps even evil. Friendships have broken up, fights have erupted, arguments have gotten heated, expletives and attacks have been vicious.
Then the floods came. The category 4 hurricane winds and destruction, the stalling of Hurricane Harvey and the overwhelming amount of rain. Hurricane force winds ripping houses to kindling. Standing houses filling with rising flood waters. All manner of thing in the rising waters: sewage, snakes, alligators, electrical charges, pets, livestock, wild animals, neighbors, and strangers, old and young.
But amid all of that destruction, there are hundreds of thousands of volunteers. People working around the clock to rescue the stranded, to deliver food and supplies, to rescue people from roofs of houses, animals from the flood waters and reunite them with their families when possible.
Black and white, red and brown, people are just busy helping each other. Young and old, wealthy or poor, people are doing what they can to rescue, carry, and help evacuate those in harm’s way. A litmus test isn’t given first to see whether these are the right kind of people to help — people are just reaching out and coming together.
Now Hurricane Irma is bearing down after having intensified. It may attack Florida and add that to the states already damaged by Harvey. Our country came together after the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001 — our country knows how to be generous, to help others, to lay aside differences.
At the same time all of this is going on, other parts of the country are seeing a huge number of wild fires. And then too there are just the usual blights — poverty, disease, sickness, hardship, suffering, loss, and grief.
Some peoples lives will never get back to the good they used to know. Some people will just have to learn to deal with a new normal. We may not be able to help that. But there is much we can do. Let’s do what we can to be the kind of people who offer a hand up, a hug, a meal, some understanding, who volunteer, deliver aid and comfort, who step up to the plate to encourage and bring hope. Let’s be the kind of people who pray for our nation, for all in harm’s way, who pray for all who need encouragement, hope, healing, and perhaps who need a hand up. We can do this.