Helpless?

The Rev. John Stephens, senior pastor of Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Houston, (left) and the Rev. Josef Klam, directing pastor of Adult Discipleship at Chapelwood, (right), assist with a rescue during Hurricane Harvey. ~photo courtesy of Chapelwood United Methodist Church

As yet another ferocious hurricane comes west out of the Atlantic, a word of hope.

REV. JAMES A. HARNISH 
Retired Pastor, Florida Conference

Helpless! The word reverberates in our souls when we see people being rescued from the roofs of their flooded homes. It beats in our hearts as we watch water-soaked people make their way through chest-high water to crowded shelters with a child in their arms, a few possession in a plastic bag or carrying nothing at all. It stretches our imagination when we see aerial views of flooded cities and destroyed businesses and homes. It haunts our minds as we wonder what we can do that will make any real difference in this massive sea of suffering.

Is there any word from the Lord that touches the deep flood of helplessness we feel?

Providentially, the lectionary for the Sunday after Harvey takes us to the burning bush, where Moses hears the Lord say, “I have clearly seen my people…I heard their cry.” (Exodus 3:7) The good news is that God is not absent or indifferent. God is not blind, insensitive or hard of hearing. The God of infinite compassion sees, hears, feels and shares our suffering. We are not alone.

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