Due to the Columbus Day holiday, we had a Sunday afternoon without a single planned activity. This doesn’t happen very often and decided to take advantage of it by heading to Galveston to survey for ourselves the storm damage from Hurricane Ike.
I must say, in many ways, it was so much worse than I thought. One of the first things we saw when coming over the causeway, were boats literally sitting in the median of the highway. The boats were scattered everywhere, like toys strewn about a playroom. Getting closer to downtown Galveston we began to see more and more devastation.
Whereas Houston had piles of yard debris, the people of Galveston had piles of life debris, stacked much taller than me in their front yards. File cabinets full of files, pots and pans, vacuum cleaners, clothes… all now trash as the waters had poured over them, leaving them molded and mildewed and useless. It actually felt much more like we were in a third world country than a short drive from the 4th largest city in the country.
I didn’t expect the beach to be much different, but it was actually gone. The sand had swept across the road and out to sea, leaving the water splashing right up to the seawall. There were homes and hotels where literally the entire wall was blown off and you could see inside to the beds in the room and the mirrors on the wall. The metal handrails that went alongside the stairs leading to the beach were twisted and lying on the ground.
When you looked around, you had to wonder… how will Galveston ever recover? How will these people put their lives back together after so much devastation? Will it ever look or be the same again?
There were spray painted signs across the city. In front of one home was a sign that said “Shooting to kill.” (yikes!) Another made a sign that said “Just another day at the beach.” But the one showing the most hope and the most fortitude was a sign in an abandoned storefront that read…“closed for now, but just like Galveston, we WILL be back.”
Not sure what storm, if any, is blowing through your life right now, but we too can hang out a sign of hope for all the world to see. We can sing with assurance the hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” that proclaims … “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.” Storms do pass and debris does get moved away. And our hope remains forever.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13