clean up on aisle florida

first of all, let’s just take a moment and pray for everyone affected by hurricane michael. we can’t truly and completely fathom the damage- physical, emotional, spiritual, damage to homes and churches, to businesses, to power lines and gas stations- that so many people have just recently endured. on monday, october 8th, a mandatory evacuation was issued for certain areas of florida. by tuesday, thousands were traveling north or west to safer locations. wednesday, the third worst hurricane to hit the US since the 1969 touched land in florida. winds up to 155. trees flying. trains being blown off the tracks. roofs tearing off buildings. houses being demolished. my grandmother was among those who decided to stay. she lives about 40 minutes away from the coast, on a small, you-have-to-know-it’s-there-to-find-it road. my dad decided to go “retrieve and rescue” her two days ago (thursday the 11th). it took him around 2 hours longer than usual to get to her- partly because her county was inaccessible to any other than first-responders for a little while. due to power-lines being down, my mom, brother, and i went around 30 hours without hearing my dad’s voice over the phone. he had to climb and crawl through debris to get to my grandmother’s house once he got to her road. after using a chain-saw, my dad was finally able to get inside my grandmother’s house. by the grace of God, she was safe and not hurt. a tree was leaning on the house, but it did not fall through. same for her car. no windows were broken either. it took most of the “neighborhood” (road’s residents) sawing, clearing, moving, and brushing 2 days to clear the road for cars to use. an elderly woman lives on the street and her relatives wanted to make sure emergency vehicles could get through if needed. a friend of my dad’s lives in mexico beach- which honestly took the brunt of the hurricane- in their newly-built home. news videos of the area were devastating. just yesterday he got confirmation that his house was entirely intact- with the exception of a few back-porch stair planks. thankfully, he was able to take his three small children to a friend’s house a state over before michael hit. however, his wife was stuck at the hospital she worked at for close to 40 hours. when she was leaving, she realized their car was undrivable due to damage. thankfully, she made it back to her family yesterday evening. social media is swarming with pictures, videos, and posts about michael. hundreds are volunteering to help- even offering to take their personal tractors and trucks to help clean up. my grandfather has even said he might do so. yesterday was homecoming night for my (former) high-school and the theme was honoring our military. funny, how just days after a natural disaster, i’m reminded of the freedom that comes from unity and community. our nation can be described as one that unifies well when facing trials. and i don’t expect this to be any different. i have an overwhelming sense of pride when i see how many offer to volunteer money, supplies, time, and prayers. “clean up on aisle florida” is making light of something tremendously devastating. and i kind of feel bad saying it. but we are resilient. we rise to the occasion. we unify and we recovery. we will restore what once was no matter how long it takes. (also- i know that michael did not just affect florida, but also georgia, north carolina, and virginia. i simply have personal ties with florida. i do not mean to degrade the impact on the other states.) Psalm 46:1-3, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

written on: 10.13.2018