We were all hurting for Houston as Hurricane Harvey hit Texas last week.
Images we saw via the national media of the flooded streets, interstates, homes and businesses were awful. We were deeply saddened as we heard of deaths from the storm.
But at the same time, others images were uplifting – those of people helping people.
I know some in our area have family members, friends or acquaintances in the southeast Texas area.
Pam kept up with some of ours via Facebook.
One couple we know was forced to the second floor of their home as flood waters reached the lower level.
Another friend in Texas posted this – “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” – Isaiah 43:2.
A former roommate (in grad school) of our daughter Emma had just moved to the Houston area to start a new job. She was forced to evacuate her apartment complex and ended up in a shelter at a church. Then, a co-worker at the school invited her into the family’s home.
Good news: she returned home Thursday to find her car fine and her apartment not damaged.
It’s hard to imagine more than 50 inches of rain. This flooding was in a category all to itself – the most ever recorded in the Lower 48 states.
We kept watching and waiting, knowing the remnants of Hurricane Harvey were headed to Marshall County later in the week.
There was lots of rain, strong winds and power outages. But as my sister said when we were discussing Hurricane Harvey’s influx into Mississippi and Alabama – “We can’t complain; we are not Texas.”
I have visited Houston twice, and both trips were wonderful experiences.
A good friend and I visited two years ago for some Houston Astros baseball. We enjoyed the downtown area, the hotel, restaurants and of course, the ball park.
Then last Thanksgiving my daughter Erin, a cheerleader at Marshall Academy, participated in the annual Houston Thanksgiving Parade. Pam, Emma, Erin and I enjoyed our stay in Houston. Everyone was welcoming and helpful.
As I watched television reports during the flooding, I caught myself carefully looking at sites in the downton area and then saying, “I know where that is.”
As a visitor, looking back at my good times there, it is just hard to imagine what that city has experienced.
Then I saw where people from across the United States are coming to the aid of the people of Houston. I know some from our area have helped and will continue to help. I got a report from our church about the Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort, based in Nashville, Tenn., sending trucks filled with items needed by the residents of southwest Texas. It’s the same group who helped here in December 2015 when a tornado struck Holly Springs.
Thank goodness, there is always so much kindness in the midst of devastation.
Americans come together to lend a helping hand during difficult times. Houston is another prime example.