on the outside looking in

As Hurricane Harvey, and the ensuing flood waters literally engulf the Texas Gulf Coast and the city of Houston, I have a much different vantage point from those experiencing the torrent of flooding first hand.

My lens looking in is seen from a distance.  I’m many miles and several states away from the chaos.

My view also has the filter of another flooding event not so many months ago. In the same location, but no where near the extent of this storm. My best friend and I were caught up in the April 2016 Tax Day flood complete with rescue by kayak in the middle of the night.  It took thirteen months for her home to be rebuilt, and now just three months later it is under water once again.  This time a much greater volume of water has flowed into her home, and into the roads and rivers of the area.


My friend is in the very midst of this catastrophic flooding.

While I’m experiencing this flood virtually and not in person, I am flooded by emotions – some by my recall of the 2016 flood, and now of this flood from afar.  Fear, concern, wonder and worry- even hope. And… a wish to be there with my friend and others.

Mostly helplessness. What can I do?

First of all I can pray.  And pray again and again.

Then I can click on Episcopal Relief and Development and donate.  And then click and donate again.

In an email I received yesterday from the Geranium Farm of The Reverend Barbara Crafton, she states:

From a distance they all look alike. They do up close, too, in a way: the shelters with their rows of cots, the bewildered people carried from their homes, plucked from their rooftops. The calm shelter workers, who have done all this before.

But a disaster is unique for the ones caught up in it. That’s MY house, MY car, that’s my daughter’s doll rushing away from her down the river that used to be our street. nothing will ever be the same. And never again will they be completely relaxed.

Give money if you have it. Pray, whether you’ve got money or not. Remember your own disaster. — what you needed, what you received.

Becca Stevens of Thistle Farms in her daily reflection this day says:

Trust That The Spirit is Moving
Through Thistle Farms I have learned to trust that the Spirit moves through my own imagination, through the words of others, and through times of discomfort. The Spirit moves even when we are a little off our game, when we are feeling vulnerable, when we remember that love is all that matters and when we are focused on the wellbeing of others

Finally, in an op-ed piece by Danny Heitman in the Wall Street Journal is this: “The tragedy of Harvey has reminded me that compassion for catastrophic suffering shouldn’t be a momentary impulse, but a commitment of months, maybe years.” While the news, along with all the heartbreaking photographs, will die down and turn to new and more newsworthy events, this experience for so many will never completely die down.

So I’m clicking and praying.  I hope you join me.


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