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POV: Harvey Reveals Who We Really Are

Natural disasters have a way of revealing natural truths. Hurricane Harvey, which is still devastating my first home city and state of Houston, TX, is doing just that. Watching coverage, reading articles, flipping through pictures, and texting with loved ones has been heartbreaking and, surprisingly, reassuring. Just as our political and social differences started to hit a fever pitch, we have been brought right back down to reality:

  • To the reality that this world, this life and all the “stuff” in it is fleeting and temporary;
  • To the reality that we are unavoidably connected by our humanity;
  • To the reality that we are the ones who can and will make a difference in our own communities by extending an open hand to help whomever we can reach;
  • To the reality that our world needs the strength, sacrifice and courage of men;
  • To the reality that our world needs the tender love, confidence and determination of women;
  • To the reality that the vast majority of us are blessed beyond measure;
  • To the reality that we are all created by God, and as such have equal value in His eyes;
  • To the reality that things can be replaced, but people, relationships, faith and love cannot;
  • To the reality that sacrifice and generosity, which mirror our heavenly Father’s love for us, are noble virtues we all hope to foster in ourselves and our children;
  • To the reality that pain and suffering in one part of the body of humanity affects all the rest;
  • To the reality that the greatness, no, rather the goodness of America is what is happening in Texas, as opposed to the riots in Charlottesville and other cities.

At times like this, amid such immense devastation, we can feel helpless and disconnected from those suffering halfway across the country, but Mother Teresa was quick to remind us: “It is not the magnitude of our actions, but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.”

I know for me it seems impersonal to send money or just make a financial donation without the care and personal touch of a thoughtfully chosen item, lovingly wrapped with a note, but in disasters of this proportion, money directed to those closest to the people in need is often the best way to help. Here are several excellent, trustworthy organizations who will direct your generous contributions directly to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts:

Above all, let’s continue to pray for all of those who have been and will be impacted by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath.


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