If you live in the coastal Southeast, you’ve seen a lot the last couple of weeks.
In the beginning of Matthew, you spent untold hours scouring every weather outlet you could find, hoping for eastward turns toward open sea, praying for dissipation. You packed and left, or you hunkered down to wait while sustained winds of seventy-four plus mph bore down on a land and a life that you love.
On the other side of the storm, you returned to your home, or you opened your front door to see the “after.” You saw what wind and water can do: You saw trees, generations old, now uprooted; homes, solid-built, now ravaged; roadways, once seemingly indestructible, now splintered, collapsed, or even gone. Some of your homes were spared from damage. Some were not. Some of you returned to normal lives. Some of you did not.
Most of you have wept, for one reason or another. There has been much to weep about these last couple of weeks.
But, you’ve seen other things, too.
You’ve seen the look on faces come home to see all that still stands. You’ve seen women and men trade the tools of their professions for chainsaws and hammers, the sounds of their work breaking the early hours of post-hurricane silence. You’ve seen strangers break bread together on broken streets and back alleys. You’ve seen relief workers, from far away places, come to help clear and clean, to help feed and friend both those who have lost little and those who have lost much. You’ve seen laughter in the strangest of all places.
This sweet gain that comes amid the “after” of such loss?
It’s a lot to see.
** Our prayers and thoughts extend now especially to our friends and neighbors to the west, still now facing the post-hurricane devastation of flooding in their communities.