A simple message for troubled times

BowieCCT1's picture

We have all heard the horror stories about a natural disaster making a huge chunk of California fall off into the Pacific. We have also seen the devastation caused by earthquakes, volcanoes, and other forces of nature around the world. Now, just imagine the shock to our country if a whole state like Delaware, Rhode Island or maybe New York City got washed away and was under water.
Well, that is exactly what is happening in Texas right now and the land mass that is being destroyed and devastated is bigger than all of those mentioned above and the number of people affected by it is more.
Hurricane Harvey stands to be one of the worst natural disasters in recorded time. Millions will be affected by its wrath before it is over, quite possibly even some of us folks up here.
Look at the carnage already in places like Aransas Pass, Rockport, and Houston. Smaller towns like Dayton are being washed away. The impact is that big C word-catastrophic.
Lives are now and will be changed forever. Homes are gone, livelihoods are taken away, and families find themselves leaning on the kindness of strangers for the basic necessities of food, water, clothing and shelter. There is no class system, or racial lines, or thought for how much a person makes with this storm. The floodwaters and winds wrought damage across all of those lines and people who were living in million dollar homes one day found themselves homeless the next. There is no other way to describe it except for horrific.
And you say, yes Kenny, but you were safely tucked away in Northeast Texas with nothing to worry about. Well, you would be wrong.
Many friends and family of mine live down south. Family like John and Robin Pebsworth and Zach, Zander and Brittany Jasso live in Rockport. Pieces of my heart, Katrina, Malli and Talon live outside of Beaumont. And, we have sister papers in Edna, Aransas Pass, Cuero and others where my friends Chris, John, Sonya and many others braved the storm, suffered losses, and endured the hardships, all the while being journalists, doing their jobs, and getting newspapers out to their readers.
Thankfully, they are all okay. Things can be replaced. Buildings can be rebuilt.
Amidst it all, we once again see what it is to really be an American. We have seen the best of people over the last few days while the storm rages on. Gone were the echoes of Charlottesville as friends helped friends, neighbors rescued neighbors, and people came to the aid of other people, without any pause for the color of their skin, the name on their church sign, or the dollars in their bank account.
That is what we do as Americans when put to the test. When huge trials come, we band together like no other to do whatever it takes to help our fellow man. Regardless.
Mainstream media will show bits and pieces of the goodness taking place amidst the horror, because it makes a great headline or video clip. The challenge for us all is to remember the goodness after the storm is over. We need to let it swell into our mundane everyday lives and become a part of our psyche. We need to learn to help our neighbor, friend and everyone else, all the time.
Why is it that we can put aside our differences in a time of crisis, but then go right back to our ways of division soon after? How is it that we can ignore the color of a man’s skin while the storm is raging, but when the seas are calm, we stir them up with hate, malice and pride over things like race, religion and social standing.
Is there any doubt that the riots in Charlottesville would not have occurred if they had been in the middle of a similar natural disaster like we are seeing in Texas? None at all.
I recently got accused of over simplifying life and becoming predictable here in this space because I tend to lean on the Bible for answers. I was told recently that the Bible could not solve all of the problems we face in our world today, that there are simply some social ills that cannot be swept away by a Scripture verse or a cliché Biblical response.
To that I say, you are wrong. The answers for everything are in that one Book. There is not one problem known to man that cannot be solved in the pages of the Bible.
But, let me add this statement. Do you think the people that lived around Sodom and Gomorrah looked around and wondered what happened to those cities? Do you think they thought, “wow, I wonder what happened?” No, it was plain and obvious to them that there had come a judgement from on High and it sent a loud and clear message.
Now, I am not saying that the devastation in Texas was the hand of God slamming down judgement on Houston, or any other town. But, I do think there is a message. One that we all should listen to, and it is in that Book. We are in a time when we all need to focus on things other than race and religion, and instead focus on helping our fellow man. Helping our fellow man to live better, get along better, see each other as people and not a skin tone, and prepare for a better future.
If that is a simple message, then let it be so.

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