Many of us have been impacted by Hurricane Matthew and will remain affected by it for years to come. The morning after the storm the sun was shining in the bluest of skies. The sounds of wind and rain were replaced with the sounds of generators and chain saws – a typical scenario following a hurricane.
Being without electricity for several days made me have to stop and re-think how I was going to accomplish my basic needs. But it also made me slow down and at times, to stop completely. I raced through my days trying to do as much as possible before daylight faded and I would be forced to spend my evenings in darkness with just a flashlight to maneuver my way around the house. It was in the silence of the darkness that I found my surroundings strangely peaceful. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t have to do anything, I didn’t have to drive anywhere, there was no TV or internet to distract me, and I especially enjoyed not hearing the phone ring. God certainly has a way of getting our attention.
The electricity has been restored and now I find myself surrounded by devastation, not peace. Roads have collapsed, homes and businesses have been wiped out, cars have been swept away, and lives have been lost. Even after personally seeing the damage and then seeing pictures of other areas destroyed by the storm, I still find myself questioning what I am seeing. Could this be real? How could so much widespread damage be caused in such a short period of time? I am truly thankful our house was spared and for the inconvenience of no electricity for a few days. But I also recognize that so many others were not so fortunate. The storm left a hole in my heart. My prayers go out to those who have lost homes, businesses, and family members who perished in the floods. The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)