Hurricane Harvey made landfall late on August 26, 2017, spinning and spewing and stopping over Houston and surrounding areas, including our home in Fort Bend County. Four days later, we have clear skies and sunshine for the first time. Our home is dry inside although thousands of homes are not and many thousands of people are displaced, rescued, evacuated. Businesses and hospitals are closed. Many roads are impassable. And here in our community, the Brazos river is flooding to crest 2 feet beyond its record. In the days to come, there will be more massive flooding. There is peace in this storm. There is this picture of tender love and protection. There is togetherness.
These words are powerful all by themselves. At times when I am feeling overwhelmed or bewildered, I sometimes choose one just one to help me focus or to use in a breath prayer. But I love seeing them gathered like this.
Texas has received devastating damage throughout the state delivered by deluges of rain, tornadoes, and rivers out of their banks. 46 counties have been declared disaster areas. In our town alone, a severe storm system which produced more than 11 inches of rain in 11 hours began a week that finds the entire metropolitan area of Houston in the throes of historic flooding. Lives have been lost, homes destroyed, motorists stranded. Rivers continue to rise. The Brazos River, near my neighborhood, is expected to reach flood stage tomorrow. We have a good levee system here and should be OK, but two nearby communities which are near other stretches of the river are already evacuating. I pray for strength and peace for those who are suffering tragedy and for those who will face unknown trials in the next few days. And I claim hope, the kind of expectant waiting that provides strength and endurance and perseverance. .It is so needed for those in the throes of crisis now. It will be needed in the days to come as people who are hurt and grieving must begin to rebuild not only their homes but their very lives.
in the Jewish faith, blue is the color of hope, in Christianity, purple candles in the Advent wreath symbolize hope, a time of waiting and hoping. Others say green is the color of hope as it comes to us when spring is on its way, in hope and expectation of a new season of growth. I like that.
Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope! ~ Romans 15:13 The Message
The first step to peace is to stand still in the light. ~ George Fox
There is a hush in the house that is different in quality this morning, after yesterday’s gathering for Christmas Day. Before I go back to the kitchen to finish cleanup from our festive meal, before I make a grocery list to ready for our other children and grandchildren who arrive this week, even before I sit down at the piano to enjoy playing the old carols again just for Joe and me, I claim moments of this quiet to sit in the dark with only the twinkling tree lights and be still. I hear again in my mind the words of the song often heard sung around the world at this time of year. “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.?