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Friday, September 8, 2017

Harvey, Irma, Us & God

The weather is sunny and dry where I am.

But my heart is soggy. Brooding, since Harvey hit Houston.


I am a doer, constantly wondering, “What can I do?”

I spent last week watching the aftermath, feeling inept and helpless.

I am continually prompted by the Spirit to pray.

“But how?” I ask. “And for what? Where do I start?”


Now Irma is charting its terrible path.

Through The Dominican Republic and The Virgin Islands. Making its furious way toward our US south-eastern states. More flooding and devastation develops.

So I talk to God about all my mixed up and unsettling thoughts.

About floods. About the story of Noah’s Ark in Genesis. And how God promised never to flood the world again.

Yet for those in Harvey’s path, their world has flooded.


I am a Christian; I believe the Bible IS in fact the Word of a Good and Loving God.

I pray to a Good and Loving God, “Why?”

Because in my personal relationship with Jesus, He lets me ask. Invites me to ask about the hard and horrible things.

So I do.


And I wrestle with my knowledge of the Bible.

It is clear that God is the creator and keeper of our natural world. “The waves and wind obey his voice.”

So I ask in the secret places where Jesus doesn’t judge me, “Why aren’t the winds and waves obeying?”

“Lord, are you talking to these particular winds and waves?”

Pleading, “Lord, please talk to these winds and waves!”


Maybe you aren’t confused by it.

If you don’t believe the same way I do, you might be thinking (or getting ready to reply), “Yes. Exactly. Your religion is a sham.”

If you call yourself a Christian, you may be uncomfortable with my questions. Embarrassed by my asking them.

Or you may, no matter what your spiritual orientation, be wondering about all this too.

Please know- I can’t explain.


I’m not offering arguments or answers.

Because what I need more than answers and explanations is a space to breathe and ask my difficult questions without shame or condemnation.


I have to admit…

I often blame people, and free will, for evil that takes place. But it’s tough to blame people for Harveys and Irmas.

So I keep trying to find a place to lay down the angst I feel.


Because the weather doesn’t seem like our human orchestration, right?

Or… it totally is. I could argue it either way.

We’ve forever affected the atmosphere with our industry and deforestation and our pillaging of this precious planet.

Are these weather patterns a collection of our oh-so human choices?

Maybe. Probably.

I don’t know.


But what I do know is this.

God never abandons us in our choices, not even the really terrible ones. We may endure consequences, and still… God walks through the aftermath of our choices- with us- in the person of Jesus.


Jesus, the whole reason for writing this piece.

He always ends up being the answer to every question I ask. Because beyond my struggles and questions, His love works in real ways.

It is delivered in the hearts and hands and feet of human beings.

If you don’t believe me, watch the aftermath of Harvey. Watch the coming of Irma.

You’ll see people coming together all over the US to pray and to help each other in every way we can.


I don’t believe God orchestrates these storms out of fury. Rather, I believe God uses them to stitch up and heal our separateness.

Sometimes, in a country like ours, divided by fear and held hostage by hate, it takes events like these.


We are blown beyond lines we’ve drawn and into one another’s embrace.

These events confirm that we are more alike than different. We need food and water and shelter. We need to be loved. We need to belong.

And I see us healing.

Devastation and destruction bond us like nothing else can in our national neighborhood.


So my struggles and questions fade into the background as Love steps forward to lead.

And suddenly, I know what to pray…

Lead us, Dear Love, back into each other’s arms and lives.


Also published on Medium.



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