Calamity Harvey!

Are we woke yet?

When bad things happen; Christians ask, “God, where are you?” Muslims call out, “Allah!!!” Atheists mock, “Where is your God?” And, at the end of it all, love rules! It always does.

We live in a world that thrives on man inhumanity to man, on racial, gender, and class divisions & discriminations. We live in a world that also thrives on unselfish love; the agape kind of love. In a nutshell, we live in a world of good and evil. It’s important to know that we have both the good and evil forces in us. Therefore, we have the power to choose the force that will resonate with our souls.

America is a great nation that was built on “ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL” and “IN UNITY, WE TRUST” declarations. When Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey engulfed Houston, and its surrounding cities, on Friday, August 25, 2017, fear mounted.

By Monday, August 29, 2017, floodwaters had reached the rooftops of many single-story homes, it had swallowed countless vehicles on the streets, freeways, and driveways, left thousands homeless and broken, and callously took many lives; including a family of six (a 6-year old being the youngest). Words cannot express the pains, fears, and the feeling of hopelessness that many Texans felt the moment Hurricane Harvey came calling, uninvited. It came with massive flooding in its pouch. The tragedies and devastations of the aftermath, and the immeasurable, deep kind of love shared, should be a wake-up call for us all, as a nation, as a people; to reignite the revolution of one love. Regardless of the color of our skin, when Death or a monster like Calamity Harvey comes calling, it takes as it pleases; without consideration of who or what you are. So, why hug hate?

In those deep, fast-moving waters, despite the snakes and the alligators also seeking refuge, thousands of people held on to hope; the hope to survive. Not one Black life was saved, not one White life, not one Asian or Hispanic, but lives; thousands of lives were saved! The color of every survivor’s skin or legal status, didn’t matter to the rescuers or the survivors. Saving every life was all that mattered. The thought that someone you don’t know cares about you, enough to save your life, should be a reminder that there’s good in all of us. What does that tell you? Now, ponder on that next time you see another human being, and believe you are better than they are, just because he/she doesn’t look/sound like you.

We are taught to give thanks in all things. Hard to do when you are feeling hopeless. But, doable when we count our blessings. Despite the devastating hit from Hurricane Harvey, an immeasurable outpouring of love received, will forever live in my heart, in the hearts of every survivor, and the world as a whole. Spirit of love saved thousands of lives in this calamity. Texans; Americans, stood together as a family. There was no division. There was no discrimination. It was all love.

My heart beats with pride to be a Texan!!!

Every experience is meant to teach us, strengthen us (not break us), and take us to that next chapter of our life. It is up to us to learn. It’s also up to us to teach each other what we learned, otherwise, that experience was all for nothing!

Houston, Texas, the 4th largest city in America, has been my home for 17 years. I was paralyzed with fear of the unknown while staying in my one-story home with my four young children. My heart broke each time I watched the news; 19 hours in a day. But, I held on to faith; my faith in God, rather than on fear. At one point, I wondered if the gators in my neighborhood lake were safe too. The life of every living thing matters! This monster hurricane came to steal our joy and faith. The power of love was put to a test. With the flashes of lightening, roars of scattered thunder, cascading heavy, brutal winds, and monstrous rainfalls, many lives were changed forever.

Ponder on these: Would you see someone struggling to survive (in those waters or on a roof) and look the other way? Would you want someone to come to your aide if reverse was the case? Who said angels don’t live amongst us?

Many risked their lives to save lives. If that’s not an undiluted love, I don’t know what is. If that’s not heroic, then show me who is.

We are meant to be woken when something/someone shakes us. When your alarm clock sounds off, do you wake up or go back to sleep? Calamity Harvey shook us in ways no one anticipated. It trampled on our hearts without consideration, and broke them in a million pieces. It came like a thief in the night, roared like a hungry lion at mid-day, and attacked us like a shark at sea. It came to devastate. And it sure did! But, it could NOT dampen that spirit of hope and oneness. Mercy came! Love rescued Texans! Love won! We won! Hurricane Harvey lost, despite its monstrous strength.

Sheryl Sandberg said, “It is the hard days, the days that challenge you to your core, that will determine who you are. You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive.”

And as the sun began to make its way through those dark clouds, hope was renewed. The sight of the sun is a sign of hope! Yesterday is gone. Today is here; our chance to live again. Pause each day to count your blessings, one-by-one.

Love Saves; Love Heals; Love Empowers…always!

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