So I’m driving in Altamonte Springs yesterday and as I sat at a traffic light I look across at a stretch of land…nothing but trees. At first glance you think things look normal. However, as I looked more closely I realized there was so much brokenness. Trees that looked like they were standing strong were simply leaning on others.
Later on I decided to drive through my parents’ neighborhood to see if the electricity was back on yet. Out on the main road, well lighted. The side street that led into the subdivision, well lighted. As I approached the circle….Darkness. Deep, thick, heavy darkness. It was like there was no moon/stars to help out. We have our parents with us, in a neighboring city where they wouldn’t have to deal with the darkness and heat. But as I exited the neighborhood I wondered about those that HAD to deal with it. Those who didn’t have family to say “pack your things, we’re coming to get you…you’re not staying there in the darkness and heat…”
My heart broke… I wanted to put on my cape and go door to door and ask what everyone needed. But over the past few days, each time I asked a different person going through this “what can I do? What do you need?” The answers were always the same: You can call Duke Energy and cuss them out…we’re o.k. Its just so hot…”
I drove home listening to reggae and soca…trying to avoid diving into the sadness I was leaving behind. As I drove, thinking and reflecting and being grateful, the skies looked like the heavens were having their own party and their disco ball was in full swing. Normally I would think, it must be storming somewhere…but last night in the midst of the deep darkness and chaos, the heavens were having a party.
All this got me to thinking how this is exactly what life is like for so many people now, stretching from Key West to Houston to parts of Georgia in the aftermath of the hurricanes. On the outskirts, things seem normal. But when you look closer, when you get closer, you see there is SO MUCH BROKENNESS. and in the middle of a well lighted city, there is deep darkness and heat an worry..
Going even deeper, this is exactly what life is like for so many people on a daily basis. Minus natural disasters, you see what appears to be normal people…but when you get closer, when you look harder, when you open your heart bigger, you realize there is so much sadness and brokenness and darkness that people are simply dealing with.
There is darkness and brokenness in the aftermath of Harvey and Irma, and loss and loneliness…
But don’t give up. And don’t master the art of pretense. You’re not alone. There is hope. There is help.