As we discussed a couple of days ago in Refined By Fire, whatever storms in our lives are upon us, Jesus can use it to shape us, to have a deeper compassion for others, and to bring Him glory. “These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:7) I read the following article from Angelia Griffin that shows this perfectly, as God will be glorified in tragedies.
There’s not much in the world I can truly say I hate. But I hate Harvey.
We have been sitting here for more hours than I can begin to count being brutally lashed by his seemingly never ending fury. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t scary…terrifying…at times, but we are among the lucky ones. We are safe and dry.
Harvey has taken so much from so many. Homes, lives, hopes, jobs–all washed into the Gulf of Mexico by his relentless anger. As the horrifying images and desperate needs flash across my screen in endless and quick succession, I sit here with tears in my eyes. Where do you begin? I have never felt so helpless. My neighbors are in dire straits and I can’t do anything but pray. It’s a terrible feeling.
Pregnant women and their toddlers stuck on roofs waiting hours upon hours for help. A friend with seven feet of water in her home swimming for her life to a rescue boat. An elderly couple trapped in their attic with rising water. A man drowned as he clung desperately to a shoping cart return in a parking lot.
Thousands stranded. Thousands homeless. Hundreds in need of rescue. No water. No food. No end in sight. My own church (Church Project) has taken in tons of evacuees with even more buses on the way, and we (my family) can’t even get out to help them because of devastating flooding and road closures all around us. It’s a feeling of hopeless, helpless heartbreak that I can’t even begin to express.
My heart is bleeding. Yet, in the deluge, there is also something incredibly beautiful emerging. You see, Harvey has washed away something else–hatred. The only color in greater Houston today is red, white, and blue. The only religion on our streets is love. There is no race, no creed, no gender, no socioeconomic classes, no nationality, no sexual orientation, no religion–
There are only people helping people. There are only strangers opening their homes for strangers. There are only men and women risking their precious lives for other precious lives.
Today, no matter who you worship, the color of your skin, where you were born…we are all Texans. For a stunning moment the world has stopped fighting against each other and started fighting for each other. It’s breathtaking.
Take note world. You don’t need to wait for a devastating disaster to love. You don’t need to wait until your neighbors are drowning to reach across the color, religious, nationality, political boundaries. This world is suffering a different kind of storm, one far more dangerous than Harvey–a storm of hatred. Let’s refuse to let it break us.
Do it now–in honor of Texans, love your neighbor fiercely today, tomorrow, and every day thereafter.
And Texans, I beg you to remember this day every time you gaze upon your neighbor. If you would go to any lengths to save them today, then let’s go to every length to love them for endless tomorrows.
Harvey, you can take a lot from us–and you have. But you can’t take our spirit. In fact, you have given us a glimmer of something beautiful–
We are Texas.
Beautifully, heart-brokenly yours,
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