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This morning as I watched the breaking news about Hurricane Harvey reaching a Category 4 with winds up to 140 mph, I was afraid for the safety of the people. The power of Harvey caused unimaginable flooding, destruction of properties and loss of lives in Corpus Christi and surrounding cities extending all the way to Houston and beyond. I was taken aback with sadness as I watched families and individuals wading through streets in waist deep water fleeing from their homes in an effort to find shelter. Across the screen flashed vivid and disturbing scenes of individuals hoping and praying to be rescued, elderly people in senior housing complexes being evacuated, children being carried on the backs of their parents to keep them from drowning and rescue workers in boats frantically helping others fighting for survival.

The pain we all felt watching these horrific scenes brought to mind that America is as vulnerable to catastrophic events occurring on its land as any other place on earth. It has been several months past that more than 600 chaplains gathered in the Greater City of Houston for an annual Chaplaincy Conference. Many of us toured the city and we were amazed by the beauty of the landscaping and structures. It appeared that the city had invested much in revitalizing its downtown area with modern walking trails and greenways. But now as the relentless rain poured down, most of the city’s beauty was 4 feet deep in water with little hope of subsiding and more rain on the way.

We witnessed people of different races and cultures united for the common cause of helping each other through the aftermath. The scenes reminded me that often times it takes disaster to occur for humanity to unite together with one common goal in mind, embracing the true atmosphere of brotherhood. This quote comes to mind, “brotherhood as a larger concept, entails uniting all of humanity. It is about finding it in your heart to truly care about your fellow human beings and build them up, while allowing them to lift you up too when you need it.”

Today with much sadness, all of us are more mindful of the natural events which humanity has absolutely no control over and the scenes of people helping each other will burn deep in our minds for days to come. We will remember how the human race united with each other in a time of crises.

Corpus Christi, Houston and other cities will find a way to rebuild because brick and mortar are replaceable and do not define who we are. However the lives lost are not replaceable and those affected by their loss will need our prayers and spiritual support for years to come. They will also need us to share our resources. So, find a way to give.  Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

By Chaplain Ghosten