When I was growing up, I used to LOVE snow days. They were rare, but every year or two there would be enough ice and snow to get us out of school for a few days..and once when Little Rock received 7 inches we were out of school for close to a week.
For our children it’s different. Especially this year. First we were out for seven days due to Hurricane Ike. Today we were out due to a stationary rain storm that literally parked over our area dropping 9 to 11 inches in a very short period of time. Way too much water for our sea level city to absorb.
And lots of my friends had homes which flooded. Water over a foot deep. Cars flooded. Savannah’s classroom flooded.
And yes, we were out of school for the day and the kids loved that, but it caused you to realize how quickly everything can change. We weren’t expecting a storm of that magnitude. And let me tell you…the thunder was loud, the lightening bright and the water rose very, very quickly.
We were up for half the night listening to the storm and wondering how high the water would rise. It came up about 1/2 way into the yard before it stopped and began receding. Too close for comfort, that’s for sure.
One of the biggest lessons I learned during Hurricane Ike was how quickly a disaster can level the playing field. People with Mercedes and mansions stood in line for ice and water with people who had walked to the Red Cross station because they didn’t own a car. Money couldn’t buy electricity during those long, dark and hot days. Money couldn’t buy you groceries that were not on shelves. Money couldn’t buy gas that was nowhere to be found. You had to use what you had and hope against hope that help was on the way.
And now, not even 8 months later, Houston is cleaning up again. Not as bad as the hurricane, but exhausting and overwhelming for those with still fresh memories of our post hurricane days.
Many of my friends flooded because a company the city contracted to fix the drains in their neighborhood had the drains covered by boards during the storm. As soon as they moved the boards….the water began to lower.
One friend, who had just completed a remodel that included wood floors throughout her house, had a foot of water flowing through her house this morning.
One lady is missing…just blocks from our house…because she accidently turned into a drainage ditch believing it to be a parking lot. She was escaping the 10 foot plus water that had accumulated under the Katy Freeway.
There is lots of clean up to do. School starts again in the morning and the state wide testing that was postponed today will occur. Many classrooms in our school don’t have air conditioning due to the storm. Hopefully by tomorrow they will.
None of us went to bed thinking we’d awaken in the middle of the night to rivers flowing down our streets. But things can change very quickly. And I feel so badly for those who were reminded of that the hard way last night.
Most everyone has flood insurance. They will get new carpet, new floors, new cars. But there are some in our world whose circumstances seem to stay the same, no matter what. They are born into poverty and despair. And they don’t have a rolodex of contacts they can call to make everything right again.
There is a group of people in Calcutta, India this week who went with Compassion International to see first hand the plight that most of us have only read about in books or seen on the nightly news. One of them is Beth Moore’s daughter Amanda.The last two days she has so vivdly described the situation in India and is inspiring people to adopt a child through Compassion’s ministry. If you’d like to read more, click here.
I learned during Ike what it felt like to be helpless. I learned during Ike what it was like to have one of your children cry after school because she is hungry because the school lunches aren’t back to normal yet. And I knew I was fortunate because she wasn’t hungry for long and I could go get her food. But many kids don’t have that luxury.
And I guess seeing all the carpet piled on the side of the road today and all the friends who are cleaning up again, reminded me that I promised myself I would never, ever forget what it felt like to feel helpless or what it felt like to have a hungry child and it reminded me that I said I would never, ever pass up an opportunity to help another mom who wants to feed her kids too.
And their situations might not turn on a dime, but hopefully they’ll turn.
God willing, for the better.