The images of devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey have been stunning and overwhelming: whole cities and towns under water; highways turned to rivers; thousands driven from their homes, and hope nearly drowning in despair. It will take years and billions of dollars to restore the region.
Mr. Rogers said: “When I was a boy and would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
It has certainly been true in Texas, hasn’t it? Hundreds of people took to the floodwaters in their fishing boats, on pontoon rafts, and even on jet skis to join volunteer organizations like the “Cajun Navy” to rescue the stranded from danger. All over Houston and in other places, neighbors helped neighbors, and strangers have pulled people they don’t know from peril.
Black, brown, and white have treated each other as brothers and sisters. Before reaching out to help, no stopped to ask whether the people in danger were Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, Christian or Muslim.
Instead they acted like the Good Samaritan and offered compassion across boundaries. Their kindness and self-sacrifice were a vivid contrast to the hatred and racism we’ve seen in places like Charlottesville.
I don’t believe that the God we know in Jesus causes the disasters we experience, whether hurricane, illness, violence, or shattered relationships. Instead, God’s heart is the first to break when trouble comes. I trust that God’s Holy Spirit accompanies and comforts us in our suffering and that God inspires, strengthens, and works through the helpers.
Above all, I believe that “nothing in all creation shall be able to separate us from the love of God.”