50 miles away Oregon is burning. The last count was 33 thousand acres. Homes are gone and evacuees wonder if life will ever be normal. No, it won’t. It will never be the same. It never is the same. But, a new normal can bring a peace when one is called to overcome the insurmountable.
Thousands of miles away, hurricane Harvey has left to make room for Irma to carve a new path of sorrow as 5 million people evacuate and sit in shelters shocked, and worried that they will lose everything. How many will lose the faith it takes to overcome? We can rebuild our homes and cities, we can recover from the destruction, from the mess. but, can those who lose everything overcome? Will their faith in God survive this loss? Will the hurricane prevail?
I tear up as I sit here in my home in Salem Oregon. Safe. My coffee now ignored as I can’t take my eyes off the TV. America is facing the destruction that nature can unleash yet, my home is not touched by the calamity so many people are facing. The day outside is promising to be clear and sunny. Safe. I ask myself what would I do if I lived in the path of destruction? 20 days ago, I celebrated being in the path of totality for the eclipse and I marveled at the hand of God who set the stars in motion. Would I marvel at a hurricane that threatens my world? Would I overcome or would the hurricane prevail?
The news reports show the enormity of the storm swirling like a spinning top over the earth. From space, Irma is beautiful but I must resist the curiosity that makes me want to gawk like one driving past a car crash. I am not a tourist untouched by their suffering, and this is not a selfie moment. People are hurting. I am not fleeing destruction so I have the duty to pray that God will have mercy on America. That He will be the shelter in the storm, for those in the storm. I am praying that the hurricane will not prevail and those in the storm will overcome.
The fires in Oregon, the floods in Texas, the earthquake in Mexico, and now, the largest storm ever recorded reminds us how fragile we are. Yet, we can overcome.
In my life, I have never faced this kind of destruction but I have had to overcome the path of destruction that man can do to another. It was not nature that brought about a new normal for me. It was a family member who ripped the family apart and the words like Homicide and Protective Custody were added to my childish vocabulary. I can’t imagine what those in the path of these fierce storms are facing. But I can say that God is there. If I could speak to them I would plead for them to not give up, to let faith arise to acknowledge and face the new normal. Life will never be the same. But God is. When our faith is overwhelmed by what seems insurmountable, God will make a way to overcome.