This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday, where we write spontaneously for five minutes on a one-word prompt. The prompt this week is Anniversary.
As August 2018 begins, one of the most discussed topics in Houston, Texas is the upcoming first anniversary of Hurricane Harvey. On August 29th, 2017, after this devastating storm came in at the Texas coast, it moved northeast toward the huge metropolis of Houston. And Houston hasn’t been the same since.
The annual recurrence of the date marking a notable event – an anniversary – can be a time of rejoicing or a time of sorrow. In this case, my emotions concerning this upcoming anniversary are mixed. Hurricane Harvey caused devastation, but it also showed how loving and concerned the people of our city are for one another.
Our own church received major damage to it’s buildings during this memorable event, and yet the thing that stood out to me was the outreach to the surrounding community. Hundreds of people went around the neighborhood, cleaning out flooded homes, removing debris and delivering the hope that is found in Christ. And this same thing was happening in churches and ministries throughout the greater Houston area.
When disaster hits, we are faced with a choice. Will we sit around feeling sorry for ourselves, or will we show the love of Christ to our neighbors who are hurting? I’m grateful to be a part of a city and church that made the right choice in this, the choice that led to restoration and changed lives.
Houston isn’t the same today as it was after last August’s devastating flooding. Lives and property were lost, and some areas still need work before restoration is complete. Our own family was touched by the storm, as we faced damage to our home that to this point is still only partially repaired and as our special needs son David had a small illness that turned into a life-threatening battle with pneumonia because of delay in getting a prescription for an antibiotic filled in the midst of the storm.
But the thing that stands out to me as I look back is a clear lesson in what it means to truly love those around us in word and deed. We can look inward in the midst of a disaster such as this, or we can look at the opportunity before us to be “Living Proof of a Loving God to a Watching World.” This theme our pastor reminds us of frequently was lived out last August in practical ways. God used His people to bring good out of the disastrous storm. And for that, I’m thankful.
I’m glad that as you look back on last year there are positives to remember as well as all the stress and devastation. It is powerful when a community pulls together and helps one another out like that.
I am so happy that in spite of all the devastation, the Houston community was able to lovingly cooperate in the aftermath of this hurricane. I hadn’t remembered hurricane Harvey until now. Partly this is because I don’t live in the United States. I do remember Charlie and Frances in was it 2004 (?) because an online friend lived in Florida at the time. Hurricanes sound so scary.
Thank you for sharing. I prayed for your city during the hurricane. What a beautiful reminder that we need to remember and celebrate coming out of the trials of life. I love what your pastor says about being “living proof of a loving God to a watching world.” This should be my goal every day as I live life. Thanks again. Visiting from FMF!