Scripture: From Psalm 27
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
14 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!
It is around two o’clock in the afternoon, and of course, the day is Sunday, September 3. It was raining very hard early this morning, but now the rain has tapered off to a sprinkle here and there. Rather than going out for a walk where it is somewhat rainy and the temperature has hovered around 56 all day, why don’t you sit with me by the pellet stove. Dale fired it up early this morning to take the chill off the house so it is very comfortable near the stove. Molly is sleeping under my roll top desk; that is a favorite spot for her. Dale has gone off for a while to do an errand, and Molly and I are here alone.
Molly adores Dale. Of course, she loves me too, but when Dale goes out the door, I have one sad dog on my hands. She waits patiently by the door and awaits anxiously the sound of the garage door opening and Dale’s return. For a time, she was happy to chomp on a marrowbone, but now she is just sleeping under the desk.
According to the forecasters, the rain today is from the remnants of Hurricane Harvey. Sitting here on this dark day brings back memories of a time when I was four years old. It seems to me that although I was only four, I have several memories of that day – the day of the 1938 hurricane. My brother Milton was at a trumpet lesson, and my father was just about to leave to bring him home. The sky was dark as if it was midnight, and through a pelting rain and fierce winds, a car drove up to our home on Logan Avenue in Medford, Massachusetts. Clearly I remember the dark day, the wind, the headlights of the car bringing Milton home and the driving rain.
Of course, we lost our electricity and were left in a dark as dark as night. Looking out the windows, we could see huge oak trees in the park beside our house bending and twisting in the wind. We were not to have electricity for more than a week, and only then because my dad traced the lines visibly and found that if the power company connected one line, a whole block of houses could have power. They listened to my dad and came and restored power to our block of the city. My ingenious dad was always challenged by a problem and how to overcome it. At the farm, we learned that skill many times as my dad jacked cars and tractors out of the mud and got the temperamental water pump in the cellar to pump water again.
The next day after the storm had ceased, we all found out what a violent storm it had been. So many people were dead and so much property had been lost.
In the fifties, we faced hurricanes Carol and Diane. Once more, we lost electrical power this time in the city of Melrose. We travelled to the farm in Barrington, New Hampshire where we had electricity and warmth when needed by the kitchen stove and the fireplaces in the living room and dining room. My family may have faced inconveniences from the hurricanes that have hit New England, but we have never been homeless or lost someone we dearly loved through strong winds and floods of water. New England’s havoc after the thirty-eight hurricane was in many ways as severe as the dying Hurricane Harvey; however, as a family our lives were inconvenienced but not dramatically changed as some of the lives of those who lived during the ‘38 hurricane and the present hurricane Harvey.
Flooding must be one of the most difficult events to live though. When a pipe has leaked in the cellar or a windy rainstorm has caused damage to a ceiling or flooded parts of our home, we know how difficult it is to repair the damage. How difficult it must be when a deluge of water has covered your whole home, even your whole neighborhood. The piles of what were once furniture and household goods piled outside of homes is overwhelming to see on the Internet and television. Today we now know how mildew and mold can cause sickness; so much of what has been soaked by foul water has to be destroyed. A flood of water such has been witnessed in Texas means that many are now without decent homes in which to live. For the person who loves Jesus Christ that means there has to be some action taken to alleviate the suffering of so many people. It is so very heartening to see that our government and so many individuals have reached out in love, labor and funds.
Unquestionably, politics have caused deep divisions in our country over the last three presidencies. We seem to be a nation divided by our political parties, not a unified dedicated people to the welfare of our citizens and the promise of freedom and the pursuit of happiness. Out of the Texan disaster, we witness what makes our nation a great caring democracy, a people responding to the needs of those less fortunate than ourselves. Does it take a tragedy for us to be a united, good people and nation? Think about it. We saw after 9/11 that we were a strong unified nation – must it take that kind of tragedy to bring out the best of our nation’s people? That must not be so.
Jesus was not a self-centered person. He was a man who thought first of others and reached out to those in need wherever that was and no matter what their beliefs or estate in life.
I believe we have followed the teachings of the master in these recent days and may His way of love and outreaching kindness continue throughout the rest of this year.
Thank you for walking with me today. I always look forward to our visit together and hope that we always remember that a third person, our Savior, walks with us as well.
“Loving Father we pray for the people who have undergone the ravages of flood and storm in the south of our nation. We are grateful for Your teachings that encourage us to reach out to those who are in need of help in desperate times. As we have become aware of those so helpless by the flood and storm, may we also look to our neighbors who many times suffer and are unnoticed by we who are caught up in busy lives. Grateful always for Your presence, be with us in the week to come, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
And now, “May The Lord Watch Between Me And Thee While We Are Absent One From The Other.”