13 Days Later

It has been 13 days since The Hurricane tore through Florida. Many of us are taking things one day at a time, picking up the pieces of the mess. Others of us who were minimally affected are struggling with survivor’s guilt. I have heard of people feeling guilty because they aren’t physically able to help volunteer. Someone told me they break down at unexpected times and have to turn off the news, overcome with grief when they think about all that has been lost.

Hurricanes dot the timeline of life in Florida. Just today I heard someone reference the damage from Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and Charley in 2004, and Irma in 2017. I am sure there are others. Hurricane Ian is now added to the list. Time will wear away the rough edges, as it always does, but I have a feeling that the effects of Ian will stay with us for an unusually long time. This one hit different, literally.

We might be anxious to “get back to normal,” but I also encourage you to be present with your feelings, even if it feels uncomfortable. Absorb all that’s going on, and pace yourself as you get back to the to-do list. Tread lightly, be gentle with each other. Emotions have a surreptitious way of affecting our words and actions, and if we aren’t attentive to them, they seep out in unhealthy ways.

As your Minister for Congregational Care, remember I am always here if you’d like to talk. We also have our Stephen Ministers who are ready and available to listen as well. And don’t forget to pray, as the scripture says, we can find rest in Jesus , who helps us carry our burdens.

I’ll leave you with this blessing from Jan Richardson.

Blessing in the Storm

I cannot claim

to still the storm

that has seized you,

cannot calm

the waves that wash

through your soul,

that break against

your fierce and

aching heart.

 

But I will wade

into these waters,

will stand with you

in this storm,

will say peace to you

in the waves,

peace to you

in the winds,

peace to you

in every moment

that finds you still

within the storm.

 

Prayer Focus: For anyone who was affected by Hurricane Ian

Prayer: God of All Creation, some of us were impacted more than others, some of us aren’t sure about how we’re supposed to be feeling right now, some are going through the motions, we’re all over the place and nothing makes sense. Be with us. That’s all. Please be with us and help carry us through this time of physical and emotional recovery. Amen.