As you may know, Hurricane Dorian made the islands of the Bahamas its victim. The hot waters of the Atlantic Ocean strengthened the storm as it slowed down to gain every bit of energy it could. It seemed as though this hurricane had a goal. A goal to destroy.
The result has been devastation. Not only did Dorian hit the islands at a category 5, its movement slowed down to 1 mph and hovered over the islands for two days.
Beyond the material damage, people are missing or dead, children have drowned. It’s hard to imagine the gravity of such depravity–to even think about the state of these people’s spirits.
This storm was real.
We personally live in a city on the east coast of Florida. Many of the predicted tracks had us front and center for a match against Dorian. However, Florida was spared. Some of my friends might laugh it off and say, “I told you so.”
Florida natives are weird, you know. Every hurricane season, we challenge the weather with our nonchalant attitude, our boats (actually, our neighbor’s boat), and even our boarded up windows.
In the wake of videos of people crying for help while their homes are flooding, roofs are blowing off, people are swimming for their lives, people unaffected have still taken to many jokes about dodging the storm.
It is a Floridian thing, we explain. OR, it’s just a people thing. Comedic relief is certainly necessary when tensions are high, the grocery stores are empty of staples, and doom is impending. Many bought into the idea that the meteorologists were hyping it up (see Jim Cantore memes).
Then, I saw the aftermath and realized it’s one thing to become desensitized by the news and another to become insensitive about the news. It wasn’t fake and sensational anymore. It had gotten real. Most of us here started to believe we were in danger once we got wind of the destruction. But some still chucked it up to media hype, fear mongering by way of nature and a call to get the state economy running.
Yet, the storm was real. In fact, it still is real.
Hurricane Dorian went on spinning tornadoes in the Carolinas. It has lessened in intensity but it is still actively affecting people right now.
Through tears and grief and loss, people still refuse to believe the very realness of the storm and the possibility of being at its mercy.
I wonder if people are so afraid of the unpredictable possibilities that they deny obvious evidence. They wear a facade of bravado and security because they don’t want to face the truth, they don’t want to admit that they might actually be vulnerable to uncontrollable forces.
It’s easy to turn to anger against these people who are insensitive about the reality of devastation. How dare they make light of death?
That inability to face the truth about hurricanes is the same human spirit that doesn’t want to face The Truth. The same liar that tempted Jesus is the one filling heads with false confidence and a sense of invincibility. Invincibility that distances people from God.
We are but weak creatures looking for the Refuge of a Father, which requires closeness. Sometimes, the distant weak and vulnerable people masquerade in strength and defiance.
It’s easy to charge them because they can take anything if they can take on 185 mph winds. On the other hand, it’s easy to avoid a battle because they’re like the Floridians nonchalantly defeating hurricanes. No point in trying against hard-heads? Might as well ignore them, right?
Actually, hard-heads need the most softening. Softening of their hearts, which can only be done through softening of our hearts and the Love that follows.
Pray for those who are looking for family, who have lost homes, who are mourning the lives of their loved ones. If possible, donate! Show your soft hearts, especially during a time when others may stiffen up.
Devastation is not an empty threat, it is in every possibility of physical life.
We are not immune to death, yet we are saved from experiencing it. That’s the glory of a risen Christ. That’s what we should be living and sharing, even with those bent on denying.