What Am I Supposed To Do About It

My heart twisted within my chest.
I wanted to groan, but I think all I could muster
was a faint audible gasp.
I wanted to cry,

I deemed the situation totally appropriate for tears,

capable of flooding my face and several tissues,
but none came.
I’m not sure there are tears…anymore, not anymore.

Last night one of the Houston news channels was showing footage
of the rescue of an elderly couple and their pets.
With water about 2 feet from the top of the door frame
a rescue worker dressed in blue overalls
assisted an elderly man through the door of his home.
The frail man reached for the boat
as the worker sloshed back inside to assist the wife, I assume.

You may have seen this footage also.
The man, so weak he could not pull himself up into the boat, was lifted by his arms and dragged like a large wet fish over the rim
and perched on the ledge of the rescue boat.
Pulling a bright blue walking cane from the water behind him,
he slumped with his elbows on his knees.
His hands dangled down lifelessly
as his head hung close to his waist.

His body slouched in defeat.
There seemed to be no jubilation at being rescued

but only a resigned bearing of loss and exhaustion.

One of his dogs was set into the boat beside him

and he never even reached for the dog.
There he sat
sopping wet  beside the sopping wet dog.
Just the clothes on his back,
a hat and a bright blue metal walking cane and an equally wet dog.
I’m assuming that his wife was lifted into the boat also,

but my heart and soul couldn’t bear what my eyes would have witnessed.
I closed the link, folded the screen on my computer and walked away.

What in the world could I do?
I’m hundreds of miles in-land
and to date there has been no threat of hurricanes
in Indianapolis.

(Have you experienced loss?

A horrible storm?

Gut wrenching loss?
Loss so physically absorbing you wonder how you will go on?)

The couple left their home with NOTHING but their soul,

their sopping wet clothing, and the comfort of their equally wet dog.

Now elderly, most of life behind, now gone.

I’m sure that home was a treasure chest of memories.
Maybe happy memories, maybe sad memories.
Maybe collected treasures of trips and holidays and joy.
There may have been family pictures floating from room to room along with coffee mugs, empty water bottles, kitty litter
and the morning paper.
Who knows?
Whatever the case,
they were leaving their earthly treasure chest behind.

They and their equally wet dog.

I don’t believe my heart can bear the sorrow.
While we go on…
meeting deadlines…
keeping a routine…
sleeping in a warm bed…
and enjoying a safe roof over our heads…
thousands of Americans are STRUGGLING for survival.

And thousands of Americans are stepping up to the plate and assisting in rescue efforts. Survival has become paramount.

Yet, wasn’t it just mere days ago
that we were fighting over statues
and flags
and rights
and hurt feelings
and whose skin color was better
and who suffered more
and who got into someone’s safe space
and who hadn’t given enough
and who should give less
and who said something that so and so didn’t agree with
and why isn’t it my way “or the highway buddy”
and on and on the hatred spewed.

Metaphorically speaking: Has all the hateful energy risen to the atmosphere creating a storm of catastrophic proportions where even the skies cannot contain the fury and hurled those insults and slander right back to the earth?
Metaphorically speaking: Is the storm saying, “I will show you the frailty of the human condition. I will force you to come together in love and kindness, where stranger meets stranger and linking arms with one another carries fragile life to safety?”
Metaphorically speaking: Will the flood water recede and wash the hate to sea, leaving people on their knees in humility and love for fellow man and a Mighty God who can calm the storm?

And maybe you’re asking like I did, “Well, what am I suppose to do about it?  Here we are on this beautiful sunny day with fluffy clouds floating through the sky and I have no idea what to do about the hurricane.”

We may not be facing THE hurricane.

Our storm may be something else that seems to loom with catastrophic proportions.

We can allow it to purge us and give us a new perspective of love for our fellow man.  We may not agree with everyone.

But we can love.

We can be kind.

We can smile.

We can lift a helping hand to those we see in need.

We can link arms with our fellow man for the greater good of those around us.

And if EACH ONE of us decided and purposed to do those 5 simple things…

what would happen?…

a ripple…

a flood…

a flood of kindness,

of faith

of hope

of love.

I would just absolutely love to know what would happen.

So…I’ll go first!

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    1. Teresa, Your sweet encouragement means so much and I truly appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. xo rachel

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I pray that the horror of the hurricane can be the catalyst to bring about the change in each of us that you describe. That would be wonderful indeed! Love you!

    1. Isn’t it strange the things that are involved to cause us to see things from a different perspective? Love you too.

      1. Thank you Rhonda. I didn’t think anything of the different meaning between the two words. I just appreciate your kind and encouraging words to me. Thank you again. xo rachel

  2. Wow ! Thoughtful and well spoken. All of the pictures are so sad and awful. What am I to do …. I pray.

    1. Yes, Donnie, praying is the best! I haven’t been able to cope with the pictures yet. xo rachel

  3. Beautiful thoughts. We went to help sort people’s treasures right after Katrina… but no matter how hard we worked, there was so much we couldn’t do. So we listened to and wept and prayed with them. Your story brought back so many memories and the raw life those people lived. I am praying for those in the path of this storm, and the ones who go to help.

    1. Oh Dorothy, I am sure the devastation is just simply overwhelming. How kind of you to have listened and cried with and prayed for the victims of Katrina. Thank you for stopping by.

    1. Becky, thank you so much for stopping by. You are so kind and caring and I love you too. xo rachel

    1. Laurel, Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the whole world was living with love and kindness? Oh what a world that would be. xo rachel

  4. This is beautiful. I’ve been especially thankful for a warm dry bed in Mishawaka, IN these last few days. And I, like so many, am praying for the people of Texas and Louisiana. I read a post from someone in the affected area that said “take the destruction you see on the news and multiply it by 100 %. I can’t even begin to imagine what these people are suffering. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

    1. Tracy, isn’t it so true that you just feel thankful for a bed?? I know I do. One of my nieces and her family live in Houston, and had not been able to get out of their neighborhood, but last night they were able to get to her twin sister’s house in Dallas. Yes, the devastation is probably unimaginable. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I agree with you, Lord, hear our prayers.

  5. Such good encouragement!

    Doing WHAT we can, WHEN we can, WHERE we are.

    Little things make a difference. It may be something only for one person instead of a hundred or a thousand, but it matters to that ONE!!!!

    Smiles. Prayers!!! Kindness. Cookies or cake. Happy mail. Sweet text. Encouraging note. A hug. So many little things we can do.

    1. Deborah!!!!! Yes!!! You have my heart. It’s the little things that mean something to someone. Even if it is just ONE. That ONE matters. xo rachel

  6. Oh my, I too have just sat in my comfy chair crying to see families torn apart and also reunited with each other, holding each other…and crying. God does work in mysterious ways and I believe in what you said. Thank you for your thoughts and words. They will be shared. I hope they eventually will be able to read what you wrote and all the beautiful comments and know this world is beautiful and they were thought of by everyone.

    1. Karen, that is so true and wouldn’t it be wonderful if the people who are suffering could know how much we care?

  7. Beautifully written, Rachel. We all must thank God for our blessings each and every day….we do not know when a disaster such as this one in Texas could strike us. Praying for all of these people who have lost so much and the wonderful rescuers that are doing above and beyond . Bless them all.

    1. Yes, I agree with you completely Dianne, in every word of your comment. I am so honored that you would take time to stop by and leave a comment with such kind words. xo rachel

  8. Oh my overflowing heart is spilling out through my eyes. Such beautiful words. This last week my best friend flew from CA here to Texas to help me with donating and fundraising for those affected by Harvey. She is the best, most loving and giving soul I know. She returned home, went back to work yesterday and was informed that the company she works for, due to finances, had to let her go. We never know why such things happen but we must keep the faith that He has a plan. We are now watching Florida as my husbands entire family lives in various cities there. We will do all we can because we can.

    1. Laura, I am so sorry for your friend, especially after working with you in donating and fundraising. I hope your family is ok after Irma. We have several family members who live in Florida also. They are all ok. No, many times, we don’t understand why bad things happen, but I agree that we do have to keep the faith and keep following His plan. xo rachel

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