Hurricane Harvey Area Floods —
Life Church & Community Updates
You can get the paper on "How to Help the Flooded" here.
Monday update — September 25, 2017.
I’m pretty sure this is my last ‘essay’ on the Harvey Aftermath. There’s a definitive shift toward the next phase of recovery, which is remarkable in itself. Harvey produced a thousand year flood for the Rockport-Houston region but within thirty days we have moved from triage to rebuilding. Preparations for a disaster were better this time. Goods and services were better staged to respond faster to people’s needs. And the people themselves were extraordinary.
There were some brief skirmishes from homeowners reluctant to leave their homes behind, but for the most part, people found places of safety with family and friends. Shelters weren’t overrun. Not even in Houston Metro. There was a different order this time. And many stepped up to help the people directly affected.
Boots-on-the-ground organizations like Samaritan’s Purse seemed to be onsite before the winds died down, in many cases with record volunteers showing up to help. Many companies like Dow and BASF and Keller released their employees from work, at full pay, to help remediate flood damaged homes. Many churches, some of them flood damaged themselves, took up the effort in one area or another. Homeowners, home-protectors, in one subdivision after another worked on their homes only to turn left or right to help neighbors, each completed house adding more workers to the force until all were done. There were children, some really tough kids, under the gaze of engaged parents, working hard, carrying out sheetrock, pushing wheelbarrows, participating in this life marking, “I was there,” event. There were people of great age and compromised-health sparked to more youthful moments who worked tirelessly, even painfully, willingly, out of love. And there were people in the middle... without personal regard or margins or privileges... working well past worn! There were teams of people from out of the area flooding in to help people they never knew before (and we hosted some of the best!). There were motivated people from all over the country who gave to aid the relief. There were those people who were coordinators keeping order and "connectors" linking up supply with need, truckload after truckload. And there were pray-ers! Blessed pray-ers to support the whole working environment! “Every part, doing its part, so that the whole body was made whole…”
For the last month, people were coming together hearts, minds, arms linked, resources pooled, energies to expend, flexible, understanding, heroic, to overcome a disaster that overshadowed the smallness of self-focused, isolated, digitally controlled life… the storm and its aftermath gave us the opportunity to see what life can be like, what we can be like, when we have a true common cause to live for.
And now it’s important to hold on to those images, to that feeling, of working together… because when everything that can be shaken is shaken, we find out that “we” really are all we have, that we are in this thing called life, together… and that the ‘stuff’ that so often is thought about as life… can be washed away in a moment.
“We’re in this Together…” Let’s not forget it too easily… And let's not need another storm to remember it!