Encouragement in the Storm

All eyes have been on Texas for the past several days. The hurricane that blew into Corpus Christi and the flooding that continues to decimate the Houston area have dominated the news since it began. It is a very sad state of affairs for those affected by the flooding; many have lost everything.

As I was scrolling my social media page, I was deeply moved by one live news feed from the flood zone. A man from Oklahoma said he drove his boat to Texas to help. He was using his boat to rescue people from buildings that were inaccessible due to the flood waters. He and a few other men motored up to a structure and calmly told the people huddling in the doorway that they were there to take them to safety if they wanted to go. They then brought out a woman in a wheel chair, a pregnant woman, three children, and a man and put them into the boat. They were calm and comforting as they lifted the wheelchair bound woman, spoke kindly to the frightened children as they sat them on the boat seats, and then as they slowly drove the boat down the flooded street, they told the people that there were others waiting at the drop off point to help them.

And there were.

There were a dozen men waiting (in the pouring rain)on the bridge over the flooded freeway to assist the wheelchair bound woman. They simply picked her and the chair up, removed her from the boat and placed her onto the freeway ramp where the flood waters had not yet reached. When they got everyone off the boat, they took them over to one of the waiting vehicles that was big enough to hold the whole family. They helped them all in, put the wheelchair in the back, and the truck drove away. That family was whisked off to safety by several groups of total strangers who have apparently repeated the tasks dozens of times today. They asked for nothing but received clutching hugs from sobbing women and large smiles from the young children who seemed to have enjoyed the novelty of a boat ride down the middle of their street.

One of the things that brought tears to my eyes was seeing the enormous line of cars, vans, and trucks that were waiting to receive those rescued by boat and take them to a shelter or in some cases to their own homes. Strangers helping strangers. People loving on one another instead of screaming hateful things across ideological lines. I noticed no one was asking anyone what political party they were affiliated with. No one was checking if the person they rescued was here legally or not, if they spoke English or not, or if they support the President. Nobody was evaluating anyone’s patriotism or if they were an American. They were humans helping other humans in need.

If only we could encapsulate the good will and love for humanity that is apparent in Houston and send it across the country. If only it would last beyond these first desperate days of the crisis! What a beautiful country we would have!

These have been troubled times for our nation. Prior to this awful storm, we seemed to be coming apart at the seams. Isn’t it ironic that such a horrible tragedy, that has rained ruin and misery on so many has also blown in fresh winds of encouragement to us at the same time?

Southwestern Texas will not be the same for a very long time. I pray we are not either.