Keeping Our Eyes Above the Storm

Millions upon millions of people will have a story of how these recent hurricanes, whether Harvey or Irma, have impacted them or someone they know.  My parents, for example, evacuated their Naples home on Thursday, and they're uncertain when they'll be able to return -- or what, exactly, they'll return to.  Yesterday I spoke with a man who just had sold his home, seemingly a congratulatory event, until I asked him where he was moving.  "Southwest Florida," he replied, offering me a pained smile.

It's a lot to absorb.

I watch news coverage, not sure whether I want to be informed or not.  It seems strange to look out my window and see a perfect September day -- calm blue skies, light breeze, sunshine -- when the view is so contrary elsewhere.

So, like millions, we pray.  We offer tangible assistance, even if it's small, like the lemonade stand my daughter and her friend held this afternoon to raise funds, fifty cents at a time.


I think about the stories that will emerge -- the women in shelters who are nursing infants, or those who are elderly or already hospitalized, or the headstrong residents who refused to evacuate, even though they were advised repeatedly to do so, or the rescue personnel and helpful citizens who will serve and give tirelessly, perhaps even to their own harm.

These people add their collective experiences to the millions upon millions of people throughout history who have suffered their own losses, whether from accident, war, or natural disaster.  We humans are no strangers to suffering and displacement, it seems, even if we never face something as epic as a hurricane.

And it hurts.

I'm thankful for wise words, like these from Max Lucado, that remind us of this important truth, even in the midst of the hurt: "The storm is coming, but God is with us."

We lift up our eyes to the hills, where our help comes from.  He's with as we wait, wrestling with the unknown.  He's with us when the brunt of the storm hits.  And He's with us in the aftermath, day by day, minute my minute, as houses and lives are cobbled back together.

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