Does your life feel as though it’s upside down? Is the strain on your relationship feeling too strong? Do you cry out for help and hear nothing in response? Well, if you answered “yes” to one or all of these questions, then you will relate well to what I have to share.
I’ve been thinking about this subject for quite some time (years, in fact). I’ve never figured out where to start and what to say exactly. But now, in the midst of Hurricane Harvey (Texas, USA), it is definitely in the forefront of my mind.
Natural disasters occur on a regular basis across the world. On top of that, we now see domestic and foreign terrorist attacks. Our world is crippled with various wars, struggles for leadership, and senseless acts of violence. I know we’re all thinking the same thing. When is it going to end?
With the onslaught of Hurricane Harvey, it seems this subject has become much more prevalent to me. The state of Texas really isn’t that far away from where I’m located. And I recognize the fact that at any time I could also be a victim of such an event.
Like many of you, I have been watching the news coverage with my eyes open like a deer caught in the headlights. We have watched in horror with our hearts in our stomachs as we view live coverage of the incredible devastation.
I can’t even fathom or comprehend what the residents of Texas are experiencing and feeling. I can’t imagine losing my home, my belongings, and keepsakes. And in some cases, family members. I’ve never had to face that situation in my life.
As I watch the news coverage show 9,000+ people displaced and seeking refuge in the Houston convention center, it brings tears to my eyes and my heart feels broken. Like those affected and many of you, the first thought I have is “why.” All of those people are innocent victims to mother nature’s fury. And so I ask,
Where is God at this time?
Whoever or whatever you connect with on a spiritual level, how can he/she/it allow such incomprehensible and devastating tragedy to occur? Not one single individual should have to endure this, ever! And so, that goes back to my original question, “Why.”
I don’t have an answer to that question and I don’t believe anyone else can definitively provide one either.
I remember as a youth proclaiming with frustration to adults, “It isn’t fair!” The response was always, “Life isn’t fair.” When we explore the definition of “fair,” we can say that the meaning of ‘fair’ is, “Agreeing with what is thought to be right or acceptable, treating people in a way that does not favor some over others, not too harsh or critical.”
Well, Hurricane Harvey is far more than just not “fair.” It is a bully of unimaginable strength. It is a power that can’t be restrained. It has the nature of evil. It is unexplainable and unforgivable. And so, like many others, my faith has been shaken.
Faith is an extremely difficult concept. Think of the hardest class, problem, test, situation or event that you have ever experienced in your life. Now, multiply that by 100. You’re still not even close.
Faith is something unseen, untouchable, and unheard. It’s a concept of something so outside our level of comprehension that it often gets shaken.
In this instance, I like to envision life as a tree, an apple tree. We are each beautiful looking apples and so bright in color. Our life and faith are represented by the apples on the tree. When something happens and our faith (the tree) gets shaken, we may fall to the ground just as an apple does.
The question is, “What do you do with your apples?”
We may collect all of our apples and turn them into a tasty treat.
We may gather them and lovingly give them to someone else.
We may hold some tight, wipe them clean, and save them for later.
Or, we may leave them on the ground to rot.
And so, as I reflect upon yet another catastrophic event in our world, I have but one question to ask.
What are you going to do with your Apples?
If you have been directly affected by Hurricane Harvey, my thoughts, prayers, and love are with you during this horrible time. I wish I was a billionaire, as I would send it all to you. Just know that, in the end, family and friends are all we have. Everything else can be replaced. Hold your family close and squeeze them even tighter. I can’t say everything is going to be ok. What I can say is that the entire world is holding you and your loved ones in their hearts.
If you haven’t been directly affected by Hurricane Harvey, then please consider donating to one of the many organizations responding with relief. This can be money, supplies, your time, providing temporary housing, fostering animals and anything else. Please refer to the links below. In no way is this a comprehensive list. However, those listed are all reputable and safe options to make a donation.
- YouCare relief fund organized by JJ Watt, player for the NFL Houston Texans team
- Red Cross donation on their website
- Google fundraising effort
- Save the Children
- Charity Navigator
- Catholic Charities USA
- Greater Houston Community Foundation, organized by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner
- Salvation Army relief fund
- United Way of Greater Houston
- Samaritan’s Purse International Relief
- Houston SPCA pet relief fund
- Pawsitivity Service Dogs pet relief fund
- Austin Pets Alive
Please be aware of donation scams. Do not give money to anyone going door-to-door as this is most likely a fraudalent collection of money.
©Julie Corbett 2017
One thought on “Hurricane Harvey, Faith and Apples”
I agree with many of your comments. The immediate help we all can do is to donate to reputable charities. But I also believe that with the climate changing natural disasters such as Harvey and Katrina will occur more often and in other places in the world that we don’t hear as much about. We must start changing the way we live our lives. Start recycling more, buy only what you need i.e. food and use that before stock piling again. Really examine all the ways that can make a positive difference. If we all do a little each day, it will make a difference.