Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Hurting, Hopeful Hearts


My heart is hurting for the people of Houston.
We were fortunate enough to call Houston home for 5 years,
and through that time we learned to love that corner of Texas.
We left pieces of our hearts there when we left.
Maybe that's why they're hurting so much now when we see countless images
of sunken cars, babies sleeping in floating plastic bins, homes buried almost to the tops of the garage doors, people kayaking down roads, and aerial shots of what now appears to be one giant, muddy lake.

I wish I could join forces with my friends,
don a yellow "Mormon Helping Hands" shirt,
and muck out houses.
I was checking social media a bit obsessively throughout the hurricane
to see how our loved ones there were faring.
And through the sadness, the devastation, the turmoil,
there was also a distinct underlying tone of hope and gratitude.

There was the lady on the news who said she just kept praising God as the floodwaters continued to rise around her and how she was so grateful when she was rescued.
There was "Mattress Mack," and his kindness in bringing hundreds of stranded people in to his furniture stores, allowing them to sleep on high-end beds and couches in his store. He said, "To (heck) with profits, let's take care of the people."
There is the cajun navy, composed of those good souls from Louisiana who came with their boats to drive around and rescue people from roofs and attics.
There are countless churches working to provide relief to suffering people.
There is the famous gas station chain Buc-ees, who opened their facilities to rescue workers to provide them with a place to eat and rest.
There is the man with a huge smile on his face, walking with his 6-year old son, not knowing where they will go, explaining to a news reporter that they lost everything they owned, including their car, but insisting that "We thank God. We thank God."
There are so many who, the moment the water drained enough, sprang into action to start mucking out houses, working with smiles to clear out ruined belongings, cut sheetrock, and rip up carpet.
And there is a feeling of unity throughout the city.

We love the good souls of Houston
and the ways they have taken care of their own have stood as a shining example to the rest of the world during this time of great challenge.
It may take years to get the city back on its feet,
but it WILL get back.
Because Texans don't give in, and they don't give up.
They face the future with faith and acknowledge God's Hand in their lives.

And it's a beautiful thing.

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