I was in a car accident twenty years ago. A man in a Volvo station wagon rammed into my car. I remember that I had a two page TO DO list when I drove off that morning. I was convinced that my life would go down the toilet if I didn't get everything accomplished on that list. Nothing got done. I wish I'd kept that list to remind me of what's really important.
I thought about this when I got an email from a friend in Houston describing what Hurricane Ike had done. Early this morning the death toll was 28, millions are without power, thousands have been rescued, many are still trapped. The devastation can't be understood. Is it possible that Galveston, Texas is close to gone? That seems to be the case. We're still reeling from Hannah, still broken by Katrina. So many people in New Orleans are still living in FEMA trailers, hundreds of thousands of school kids in Houston alone will have no schools for an extended time. We all know that life can change so suddenly. We know that, and yet when it happens, we're brought to our knees again and again. Will the levees hold? Will the cancer be cured? Will more banks fold? Will the pain of so much loss keep us down too long?
There is something about dark times that shakes loose a greater power if we let it. I continue to be astounded by the human spirit that keeps bouncing back. That's what we're seeing now and will continue to see in the weeks, months, and years to come. What can we do now? Write a check. Collect supplies. Pray to be used, pray for the flood ravaged areas. What can we say to those who saw the fury of this storm? We won't turn away — we promise. Don't give up. Don't give up. Don't give up.
Lord, make us instruments of your peace.