Spiritual Preparation for the Storm

posted on September 13

For you have been a refuge to the poor,
a refuge to the needy in their distress,
a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat.
Isaiah 25:4a
Storms have a way of getting our attention. When we take “bread” and “water” for granted, our senses are heightened when we must go in search of them.  We have spent these past several days preparing ourselves and others for Hurricane Florence, a storm about which we have certain empirical evidence. We have seen this storm, and we are bombarded with its images and statistics. Many years ago, we might have suspected a storm was coming; we could have felt it in the air and read it in the gathering clouds. We would have discovered it fully only when waters rose around us. Today we can participate for days; tracking and reporting storms are now a vocation. Terms such as eyewall, storm surge, and rotating cells are now a part of our seasonal vocabulary.
We peer upon models of future devastation, as if we were all huddled around a radiology report for a mutual diagnosis – looking for changes, growth, patterns. We want answers, just as we do when we are at the doctor’s office. Sometimes they can’t be given, even when we long for statistics to tell another story or point the storm in another path.
Even with all the science, storms, like diagnoses, are still uncertain. We don’t exactly know what path the storm will take; we don’t know what region of our mutual body will get the biggest impact. But we know that some part will. And we do know that being prepared is a part of everyone’s work right now.
I gently remind us that spiritual preparation is a part of this work. Being kind in the path of a storm is a spiritual discipline. People are not always kind in uncertain times, yet we always live in uncertainty. Sometimes we are just not aware of it. Today, we are. That makes today an important day in ministry. It’s a great day to model peace and cooperation. It’s a great day to increase in holiness, a growing love for both God and humanity.
I urge cooperation in the face of all life’s storms. Take a moment to reflect on your own behavior in the midst of uncertainty. Some questions to ask yourself:
  • What scriptures do you go to in a time of chaos? How can you receive peace that you can share with others?
  • Can you view the storm as an opportunity to love your neighbor?
  • Can a holy moment of dependence and inter-dependence prompt you to let go of your judgment of others?
  • Can you love others more when you see a wave that can cover you both equally, or a downfall that can drench you both?
My prayers surround you as you take time to prepare and care. May we have faith when we “think we know”, and may we have faith when we truly do not know. God is present in both circumstances, and indeed in all circumstances. God has already been at work in these days, and my prayer is that God is at work in you, right now, as you make all the necessary preparations for this storm. God is proven to have already been present with the people during life’s storms. And God is with us today and in the days to come. Let us also be with and for each other.
Looking Forward,
Bev Coppley