By Dr. Foster H. Shannon
“So whatever you wish that men do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12
HURRICANE HARVEY hit the south coast of Texas with immense power. The cities of Houston, Galveston, Port Arthur, and Corpus Christi experienced staggering destruction. The damage was amazing. The heavy seas wrought devastating wreckage on the Gulf shores. The rainfall set a record over previous hurricanes, with the rain being measured in feet rather than in inches. We could see cars covered with water. The main floors of a multitude of homes were filled with water. Homes and businesses were transformed into disaster; many were completely destroyed. Amazingly and fortunately, there were very few deaths. Possibly one hundred thousand had no home or apartment to go home to. Emergency facilities sheltered an amazing number of people. The water level was such that hundreds of cars and trucks were buried.
To see what we saw was devastating! The destruction was beyond calculation. The losses to a great number were more than extensive. But we saw something else: people helping people with their boats and with their trucks and walking with them in water up to their waists. There was an evident spirit that “we will build again”, and that their jobs and places for living would be restored.
Many teachings in the Bible emphasize that we are to help one another. We were moved and delighted when we saw a family that had taken 16 people in their home. The lady went three times to a filling station to bring them to their house. They were literally rejoicing that they could help.
“And one of them a lawyer, asked him a question, to test him. Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? And [Jesus] said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it. ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40 “And let us not grow weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9
Surely, we have seen the fulfillment of these teachings in the Red Cross, Samaritan’s Purse, the Salvation Army, Churches and in contributions from many businesses. We recognize that many were moved to give help simply because of the need–but many also gave because our Savior had taught them to.
The power of the seas and the winds remind us of the greatness and power of God, and bring us to pray to him for relief. We shall surely see the healing that God will bring.
“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. O taste and see that the Lord is good! Happy is the man who takes refuge in him!” Psalm 34:7,8