How hard it is to watch others suffer. Of the many recent images, one stays with me. A man – elderly, sparse hair – is being helped through Harvey’s brown flood to a waiting flatboat. Bad enough at that. But he is shirtless. And his chest has the long, livid, vertical scar of recent open heart surgery.
And I think, Wow, Lord. This man? This scarred, scared man?
I keep my theology straight and remember where floods and scars originated – two people in a garden rejecting the greatest offered Love, Love that kept offering through His own scarred back and hands and feet. He knows scars. He loves rejectors.
But why are the most vulnerable ones, the poor, the already scarred, taken through the water while I sip my coffee in the broad daylight?
A whisper: ‘I am doing something.’
In them. In me. My guilt is wasted time. He is doing something, and He will strengthen those in the water to cling to Him and those on dry land to send out rescue boats of every shape and size. The other comforts are still true, too: Good will come out of this, good we cannot see. We need waking up. We are on our knees and not drunk on pleasure. This will bring healing; it is the saline flush of a filthy wound. My close friends Charlie and Leslie, in the water right now, proclaim this truth with tears and praise songs.
Lord, Lord! Keep us soft.