As I write this, Hurricane Florence is inching ever closer to the North Carolina coast. Warnings about this storm have inundated our radios, televisions, and Facebook pages for quite some time, and now it looks like landfall is nearly here. I heard one person comment that waiting on a hurricane is like being stalked by a turtle. We wait and watch as storm predictors change the path of destruction almost daily. At first, it looked like the hurricane would hit the NC coast, then move north through our neck of the woods. It was very concerning to see the potential rainfall map of 18 inches in our area. Because of this possibility, many sought out generators, sandbags, and stocked up on water.
But then, predictions of the path changed. Now it looked like the storm would make landfall and head due west. We would still receive some heavy rain here in the valley, but not even close to 18 inches. And then, the predicted course changed yet again. Now it would stall near the coast, and then move into South Carolina and Georgia. At this point, I heard many in our community remark that we had “Dodged a bullet”. In a sense this was true, no longer were we going to be hit with damaging winds and flooding rains. However, during times such as this it’s important to remember who “WE” are.
I’m reminded of Luke 10, when Jesus says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And then a lawyer asks him, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus then proceeds to tell the story of the Good Samaritan.
During times such as this, our neighbors are not just the people who live down the street, but those who need lifting up. WE did not dodge a bullet. WE have been hit with a very powerful storm. During times like this, our neighborhood expands. Together, WE pray for healing, for restoration, and hope in the months and years to come. Together, WE will lift up our neighbors to the south of us and support them in whatever ways the Holy Spirit leads. May God be with us as we continue learning what it means to be the Body of Christ in this community we call Earth.