If you are like me, the television news reports, Facebook and internet stories and pictures of the Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey are overwhelming. And I am here. In Minnesota, with a dry home and late summer breezes.
My mind goes immediately to the laments in Psalms as I seek God’s presence in this disaster. The Psalms reflect honest emotion, struggle and concern with experiencing the help of God in this life. “O, Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning”Psalm 5:1.(and the groaning of your peoples–my words.) “Keep me safe O, God”Psalm 16:1. (Keep those in Texas safe and dry, reunite families. Bring wisdom and help, protect your people! We pray.)It is not uncommon to feel helpless and disoriented when we want to show and BE CARE to others in despair and we are not in proximity or equipped to help.
The lamenting of the Psalms move to confidence in and praising God for being present in the midst and deliverance from chaos. The Psalms draw images of God as refuge, guardian, a mother, our shepherd, a mountain. The Psalms invite us to ask what the text teaches us about God, what the text teaches me about feelings, and what the text teaches me to do. How can we be God’s people in the midst of disaster many states away in Texas? How can we be present to others in the midst of pain, sorrow and suffering in Texas? Of course, we can pray. We also have the opportunity to share our financial resources, which are most helpful at this particular time, in addressing the flooding and displacement of the people of Texas. Opportunities include our Converge denomination: Converge Southwest ,the Red Cross ,and the United Way of Houston
We are here. We are the people of God.
“The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever. May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace.” Psalm 29.