Hurricane Irene in Hindsight

Hopefully we all made it through the hurricane relatively unscathed – flooded basements, power outages, and downed trees.

In the Biblical book of Isaiah, God announces  to the prophet, “My mouth announced them and made them known.”  (Isaiah 48:3)   Thinking of the Hurricane, yes we knew it was coming and even forecasts don’t make it any easier.  And this will not be the last hurricane.

Lives play out much the same.  We do know hurricanes etc… are part of the human experience.  And there is nothing that occurs “out there” that does not also occur “in here.”  Events like hurricanes (and the earthquake of a week ago) remind me there are forces far bigger than little old me, things far more powerful, completely out of my control.  And what can do?

The first thing we can do is just simply prepare – even when the preparations appear silly.  (Imagine the photo below – “Quick honey, through the pool furniture in the pool!”)  Preparation is important.  For me, it is about acknowledging storms happen – a clear starting point.  God is with us in all of it – the light and dark. Let me do my bit, however small that might be.  Let me draw my loved one’s close.  Remind me to “check in” with others who might be alone.   Allow me to be graceful with others.  Allow me to calm, an un-anxious presence.

And the second part deals with fear.  Fear really is the biggest challenge.  Fear debilitates.  There are numerous ways to confront fear.  One way is simply to find joy in the moment.  I love this picture because it is of someone finding joy in the moment, in Irene.  Of course, their basement was probably flooded, their power was probably out, and what will the story be in upcoming years?  Memories of body surfing in the yard.

Finding joy is not about ignoring the great pain and suffering Irene caused.  Certainly for a family who lost a loved one the above photo would be crass at best. And life is life.  Hurricanes happen.  They will happen again.  When the storms hit, it brings out the best and the worst of human experience (My mind goes back to the looting of Katrina.)  And maybe that is the final prayer.  ”Lord, allow me in times like these to be my best as You give me to see my best, knowing that in finding that true self beyond worry and beyond fear, I find you.”

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