Harvey Wreaks Havoc
Hurricane Harvey now ranks as the worst rainfall disaster in American history. Having lived through several hurricanes in my lifetime, I can say without equivocation that Harvey is in a category all by itself. Just how bad was this natural disaster? According to the latest statistics:
- In some places Harvey dumped 50 inches of rain. It takes 13-14 months for Chicago to get that much rain,
- 30% of Harris County (includes Houston) is under water. That’s 530 square miles, twice the size of Chicago.
- Forecasters estimate that Harvey dumped 15-20 trillion gallons of water across Texas.
There are other statistics that indicate just how devastating this hurricane turned tropical storm really was. It made landfall on August 25th as a category 4 hurricane. Later, on August 30th, it made a second landfall again as a tropical storm in Texas and Southwest Louisiana. That fact that it stalled over Texas for so long was a major reason for the statewide flooding that took place. The Cajun navy, the name bestowed upon the volunteers from Louisiana, came in force to aid those in need. Others flew in from as far as California and New York.
In recent months, the media has hyped the concept that the United States of American is a blatantly racist country. As someone who lived through the 1960’s, I witnessed the Civil Rights movement make tremendous strides to reverse the discriminatory practices of the Jim Crowe south and the subtler racism that was exhibited in the “white flight” that occurred in predominantly white neighborhoods when people of color began to move in.
I was raised in a typically liberal Jewish home. Because of the antisemitism we experienced as a people for over 3,500 years, we were far more understanding and supportive of the plight of black people and their own struggle to achieve civil rights in America. History tells us that the ghettos that were later inhabited by the blacks in New York city and Brooklyn, were first occupied by poor Jewish and Italian immigrants. I grew up believing the sentiments of the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal.” The words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. resonated with me. I believe his dream has been adopted by people of good will throughout this great country regardless of ethnicity, religious or political affiliation.
Imagine my surprise when our past President, Barrack Obama, changed so quickly from the candidate that engendered such hope and change to someone who would fail so miserably to further the goals of racial equality. The handwriting was on the wall. Our leaders were going to fuel the fires of racial tension and class warfare for political gain. We have seen decades of progress eroded by a small, but vocal, minority many of whom continue to paint anyone who isn’t a person of color as a racist. Worse yet, if you disagree with anything they say, you are labeled a bigot. Especially those who criticize these modern-day hate mongers masquerading as anti-fascists. People who use violence in ways that would make Hitler’s Stormtroopers/Brownshirts proud.
What I have been witnessing in Texas and Louisiana has been proven to be the opposite of what the media has been hyping ever since Charlottesville.
There are people of every ethnicity and political group offering to help others in need. Many of them in spite of the fact that they are themselves suffering great losses.
There are people of every ethnicity and political group offering to help others in need. Many of them in spite of the fact that they are themselves suffering great losses. This is the strength of our great nation. This is the America I grew up in. Those who choose to affiliate themselves with real bigots, whether they are Neo Nazis or the violence prone ANTIFA, anti-free speech bullies, they are the real losers. They cannot compete in the marketplace of ideas, so they stifle free speech. They either march around in Nazi regalia longing for the good old days of the Holocaust or their opponents dress up in black with masks looking to beat down anyone they disagree with. These are both sides of the same coin of prejudice.
If you think that these anti-free speech types will stop at opposing political views they disagree with, you would be mistaken. The Bible has always warned us about persecution. It was part of the Messiah’s sermon about the last days. God’s people have always suffered persecution, Matt. 5:11-12. To be sure, trials and tribulation are part of our growth process, I Peter 4:12-13. God warned His people that they would be persecuted and put to death, Matt. 24:9.
Texas and Louisiana are major portions on what is called “the Bible Belt.” There are many who are following the leading of the Holy Spirit and seeking opportunities to serve others in this time of need. Not all who do such good work are believers, but one thing is certain, only the saved can do the right thing for the right reasons. God looks at our hearts. Why are we doing good unto others? Those who are born of God’s Spirit are not seeking to be rewarded for what they do, they do it for the joy of serving their Lord and Savior, they do it out of a heart of unconditional, sacrificial love.
In this time of test and trial, let’s do what we can to be a blessing to others in need. Let’s give of our time and our resources when possible. If you do not have anything to give, sacrifice some of your time before the Throne of Grace on behalf of the victims and their families. At CSI, we will partner with you in reaching out to serve others in their time of need.
Submitted by Pastor Steven Rowitt, Ph.D.