These seven words cause my heart to bleed:
“There is a hurricane in the gulf.”
People’s lives have been forever altered by the monster named Harvey through hurricane winds, tornadoes, and flooding. No doubt about it.
Keeping the faith during a hurricane or flooding, and especially during the hours, days, weeks, and months that follow, is the only way to keep from going crazy, yet it is far easier said than done.
Every time since 2005 in moments like this, or frankly any other heart wrenching time, I find myself leaning into the best advice my dad has given me so far. I can hear his voice over the telephone like it was yesterday. I had called to see if he and my family were on their way to my house, evacuating due to Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf, when he reminded me that my grandpa was in the hospital, unable to travel. Of course, he wouldn’t leave New Orleans.
But then, the next morning, he called me back.
“We are on our way. Meet us at the airport.” (My dad is a pilot.)
I had to ask, “But what about…” and before I could finish he said what I can only imagine was God speaking through him to all of us:
“I am making a decision for life.”
There it was. Seven words, spoken through a lump in his throat, teaching his daughter, and really everyone, what it means to trust God with your whole heart.
When it comes down to it, our houses can flood, our cars can be washed away, ending up on someone’s roof or worse, but that is never the essence of life. Our life is more than what we own. Our security is not in our stuff. Our hope is stronger than anything we mucked out after a flood.
My grandpa died in the storm. My dad’s decision for life saved many people’s lives as he supported our family and the rescue and recovery efforts of so many people over the next few years.
A time of crisis can recalibrate our ability to distinguish what matters most by leaning into the promise that God is always with us. Always. With. Us. Make your decision for life.
We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul… Hebrews 6:19a
Responding to a Natural Disaster
A message from Executive Director Peggy Hahn