The devastation that is occurring in Houston breaks my heart. So much destruction and the damage is not over. I have been glued to the television coverage and the scenes from the hurricane keep playing through my mind. Folks who have spent their whole life in a place only to find they have to start all over again. It’s hard to know where to start in the recovery process because how does one proceed when they have nothing left.
Also, as someone living with a disability, my heart goes out to those with disabilities being rescued. For some, not getting medical supplies in a timely manner is life-threatening in addition to the danger from the flooding. I use tons of medical supplies per day, and have never been without what I’ve needed. So often we take for granted that others may not be as fortunate, especially In situations such as Harvey. The disabled are often overlooked because they can’t help themselves and the workers don’t know how to help or understand what they need. Thankfully, organizations such as Portlight are working with rescue teams to make sure the disabled have what they need. In addition to medical issues, basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter dominate the area. While many are reaching out to help, there is so much more to be done.
It is hard to know why God allows such tragedies. There are no words to describe the amounts of suffering that is being experienced, and to look in the face of such need it is hard to see how good could come from this. However, as I was watching tv the Lord reminded me that in those dark places and in the flood, He is there. He weeps with each person offering comfort and does not take delight in their suffering. We live in a fallen world where unfortunately bad things happen, but the Lord promises to give His people the strength to carry on. When one has literally nothing left and no one to turn to, Jesus is right there ready to love and lead the way. As I’ve pondered over these truths, I realize that some might read this and roll their eyes because it’s easier said than done especially seeing the enormous amounts of destruction.
What the people of Houston need now more than ever is people to come alongside them and provide for their needs –a warm meal, clothes, a place to sleep, healthcare, a shoulder to cry on, and someone who will listen to them as they grieve for what will never be again.
Rescues are still taking place and today I watched someone being pulled out of the water by a helicopter and multiple rescues using boats and other resources. Seeing these actions take place is humbling, sad, and hard to watch. Although, I have been very impressed by how the workers are doing all they can to help rescue these folks, and most of them are people they do not know.
Also, Police officers and other workers have been working for days not stopping because they fiercely love their community. Another humbling fact is that many workers have lost everything themselves, but are choosing to put other people’s safety before their own. The love of Christ is being displayed through every person risking their lives to to save another — in every rescue, through the volunteers, and in the donations from around the country. It is encouraging to witness every heroic act of kindness.
These days there is much division in our country over politics, race, and religion. That being said, at the end of the day we all need each other. As folks have united over the last few days these issues no longer seem as important. The most important focus is rescuing and helping our fellow Americans who are in need and trying to survive. When a boat comes along and rescues a family, political or social backgrounds do not matter. They are not dwelling on if the people helping are conservative or liberal, but are thankful that someone came to save them. They are thankful not to be forgotten and that someone showed up in their time of need.
Circumstances like these help give perspective on life, and the way people have come together to love and serve their neighbor will be remembered forever.
One story that has touched me is that of Police officer Steve Perez. He was a police officer in Houston for 34 years, and left his home on Sunday morning to do his job. His wife did not want him to go but he said that there was “work to be done.” Sadly, he drowned in his car and found days later. Officer Perez loved the Lord and was committed to sharing His love with others. His wife said that he would not have wanted to die in any other way. He loved his job and the city of Houston. His priorities were to serve and protect them, and what a way to enter into Eternity. He lived life doing what he loved with no regrets. and his servants heart is an example we all should follow.
Regardless of our circumstances we are to love God and love others – considering others before ourselves. Over the next few days think about how you can support Houston. Whether that be going there and volunteering, donating money, or sending supplies, every little bit helps.
Pray for Houston as they begin to move forward recovering and rebuilding from this. Pray that God provides abundant resources and that the entire city be surrounded with love and encouragement.
My prayer for the Houston community comes from Psalm 91 which says, “If you say, The Lord is my refuge, and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands.I am so thankful that no disaster is too great for God and that we can always take refuge in Him.
Ways to Donate –
Portlight Disaster Strategies – This is a non-profit organization that specifically aids and give help to people with disabilities. They are currently working with other workers during Hurricane Harvey to help rescue people with disabilities and provide the medical equipment they need.