O Texas . . . O Texas . . . O God . . .
The world has been watching you – watching over you – for several days now and the heartbreak we are feeling is enormous. Floods happen. They happen in Houston. They happen in New Orleans. And they happen in India and Asia and in so many places around the world. Floods devastate the smallest of towns and villages, changing lives forever, and every now and then they bring entire cities to their knees. Floods happen because weather is wild and unpredictable. But some of us are wondering . . . is more and more flooding happening (and other intense weather swings around the world) because of climate change?
Floods don’t happen because God is angry with Muslims or Christians or Planned Parenthood or AIDS victims or Republicans or Democrats or any other group we might be inclined to marginalize and blame. God doesn’t use floods to make points and teach lessons to an already fragile and broken world. God wants to put people back together; not shatter them even more. When will we ever learn that God is in the construction business; not the destruction business?
When floods happen God is present. God is present with first responders trying to help. And God is present with people opening up their homes to strangers or volunteers working in shelters. And God is present with doctors and nurses evacuating patients. And God is present with people delivering groceries or medications or bottles of water. And God is present when a neighbor rescues a frightened, shivering dog. And God is present when people like you or me give to Church World Services or the American Red Cross or some other relief agency.
When floods happen God is present with people as they rebuild their lives, saying to them in one way or another, ‘This is so hard and so unfair, but I will help you rebuild and you can start your life again and together we can find a way forward.” And God says things like, “It’s okay to be discouraged and overcome with anger. It’s okay to be broken and sad and paralyzed with chaos. I’m here. I love you. We can do this together.” God says things like, “I know you’re afraid. But it’s okay, because I will be with you — NO. MATER. WHAT.” These are the things that God says to the people of Houston . . . our fellow citizens . . . our sisters and brothers of the one human family.
Oh Texas . . . O Texas . . . O God . . . the world is Taking a Breath today and tomorrow and for as long as you need us to breathe with you.