What a week it has been. And for many, continues to be. On the peninsula, we begged for the best and waited for the worst. The good news is that we, all in all, got more of our hopes and less of our fears. Decisions and strategies had to be made, protection sought, provisions laid by, shelter space claimed, priorities set, and prayers said. All done with the situation changing by the minute.
I marveled at how folks pulled and piled in together. We had an unlikely half dozen ride it out here at the church. After the storm, houses with power became instant Airbnbs for friends and neighbors. News traveled about how folks were, where there was food, gas, and power. News traveled to evacuees that homes were still high, tight, and dry for the most part. Trips back were delayed and difficult. For the powerless, it has been hot, bothered, and highly inconvenient. But again, we helped one another and tried to keep it in perspective. I caught myself, in moments of frustration, pausing to ponder what might have been. And for other people and places, what is.
So what do we do now? As a church family, there are two things I want to suggest. First, we need to see each other. We need each other’s hugs. We need to corporately praise God from whom all blessings flow. So we will worship together Sunday. Come as you are, but please, come if you can. It’s important that we, in the words of those great philosophers and theologians from Liverpool, “Come Together, Right Now.”
Secondly, bring those supplies you gathered up but did not need. Our brothers and sisters to the south were not as fortunate. We want our preparation to be useful for those who need it most and need it now. Bottled water tops the list, but add to it peanut butter, jelly, crackers, kids drinks, canned chicken and tuna, cereal, and pop tarts. It will be an act of generosity and worship as we gladly give what we thankfully no longer urgently need.
Lastly, let me say how proud I am to be your pastor in moments like these. And all the others. I am blessed with good people to love and lead. We need God and we need each other. That became abundantly clear in the eye of the storm. Sunday we will gather to pray and promise that it will remain so in the calm as well. We will tell our stories, sing our praises, and thank we now our God. Though we are not through, we came through. I’ll see you Sunday as we gather the family up and pile in together to celebrate that. I really look forward to that. I know you do too.