We recently experienced the Category 5 hurricane that had a somewhat fitting name. Is it just me or does it also happen to you that when you think of the name “Harvey”, you conjure up an image of a pretty rambunctious kid? It was just me? Ok, well, let’s just play along with my imagination then. Lol. Aaaanyway, Harvey, the feisty rambunctious kid on the playground, came along to Texas. Sure enough, he played around roughly, and ended up leaving a mark. To be frank, as with a toddler, he left a mess. A huge one. I recall sitting on my bed one of those nights, fully awake while the rest of my family slept, listening to that everlasting rain. It hadn’t stopped pouring in hours, days even, á la the days of Noah. I found myself periodically getting up, going to the window, looking out at our entrance, then driveway, then street. The whole time I was assessing the water level, trying to gauge how much risk we were in. The hubby, as I said, was fast asleep. I’m sure I can come up with a whooole other post on that issue another day. Ahem. 🙂 Yet, there I was, yes, I, the story’s heroine, counting raindrops and praying for the rain to stop. Praying the water wouldn’t creep up overnight and surprise us upon awaking. By my behavior that night, you’d think that by being awake I’d have been able to actually stop the rising water if it indeed became threateningly high. Lol. And yet, awake I remained.
After the hurricane finally blew past a number of days later, the people arose. And that’s sort of what this post is about. We all saw glimpses of true community. Men, women and children rose to the occasion to help the needy. And boy were there lots of such around. Sometimes it was simply a matter of looking to one’s left or right in the same neighborhood. The damage was excessive, the loss tremendous, and broken hearts a-plenty. People of all backgrounds were both affected and spared. Some felt survivor’s guilt, others simply felt overwhelmed. Either way, it was a time when both sides found a meeting ground, a middle point where all of us saw once more that life is more than possessions. Cliché though it sounds, it had become a full on reality. I found such joy in seeing humanity return to its original design. To witness how God must have intended us to live – in community.
As time passed, I realized that in my heart I wondered whether this newly-formed community would last. As with other tragedies, people of all walks of life show up and help out, but when life finally gets back to normal, everyone seems to return to their zip codes, their norms, and their comforts. In my heart of hearts, I wondered if Houston, post-Harvey, could this time be forever different. I considered whether we all could be permanently changed.
Friends and readers, that is my desperate hope after all we’ve gone through. They say that pain is a great agent for lasting change. Well then, let the great devastation we’ve experienced here bring about such beauty that leaves a lasting mark on the country and world at large. May we remember for good a storm called Harvey.