You know it’s coming. Will it be the end of everything as we know it? What happened to all the assurances that we were in a safe place?
Like an unwelcome relative that insists on coming for the holidays, Irma, with potent unpredictability, smashes and wrecks and ruins everything she comes near.
We pray. At home, at church, together, by ourselves. Please, Lord, let Irma turn toward the ocean and let every sailor at sea escape her wrath.
First, it’s the islands of the Caribbean. Devastated. Then the mainland. Northward, then west. Please, spare the Gulf, we pray. She straightens. Northward, again. We’re assured she will weaken. Every bully does. Eventually. Toward sparsely populated areas she sets her sights. And, then, she sees her prize to the east. She wants to visit the City of Rivers. It’s been such a long time. Hasn’t it? I’ve missed you. Let me visit. Not a good time? Oh, I insist. Irma comes through the back door. But, not before first waking the dead of St. Augustine. Then, it’s over the rivers and through the woods to Grandma’s house she goes. And, to ours. She has misplaced our address. For now. But, like a raging drunk at midnight, she shatters the peace of our neighbors. Trees crash into homes, roofs are ripped, windows are shattered. And, too, are so many lives.
We are now three for three. This yearly upheaval has stirred up something within. Of smashing. Of terror in the night. Of trees strewn in the front yard, albeit now ones without lights.
A prayer, once said for many years, comes to mind: Lord, let me know what You want me to do, and give me the courage to do it. Amen