You were fierce and looming. You brought massive destruction to the Caribbean, especially in Haiti. You pounded the southern Atlantic coast and brought rain, wind and waves to bear, damaging homes and properties. In the midst of your rage you took lives. Far too many.
For a while we were in your crosshairs; you were coming for Central Florida. So we prepared. We boarded up windows, picked up the yard, stocked up on provisions. We were ready. For a few folks I know this was their first hurricane and they were scared. The projections were for you to cause catastrophic damage to the Sunshine State.
You grazed the coast and moved on. Yes there was damage, your fury was felt but it was so much less than expected. You moved on, slowly up the coast through Georgia and into the Carolinas.
Some blame your existence on climate change and global warming. Some call you an Act of God. I am not sure just why you came to be. I do know we live in a broken world with broken and hurting people. You exposed that and caused some more brokenness and grief.
The world is not right. We only need look around and see it. There are all kinds of storms brewing: political, cultural, social, economic, moral storms that can toss us to and fro. The climate has changed as we engage in name-calling, fear-mongering, injustice and more, producing pain and agony.
Matthew, you are just one example of the brokenness in this world. Now you are just a memory. There will be another named storm soon. It may be a hurricane. It may be a terror attack or a recession. It may be self-inflicted by poor decisions. Regardless, we seem to muddle through.
In all the storms of life, the difficulties we encounter, the uphill battles we face, we have one weapon to defeat the storms in this world like you. That weapon is Hope! We believe we can be better and do better. With the help of Almighty God, His grace and comfort we won’t just survive: we can thrive, even in the midst of any kind of hurricane.
So we arm ourselves with hope. We brace ourselves, prepare and believe we will persevere no matter the obstacles. My friend David Baroni (a brilliant singer, songwriter, composer) wrote a song and one verse has these words:
Even when it’s hard to believe, Even when our hope seems all gone
There has never been a night without a dawn
So there Matthew! You might have taken some swings at us, you might have landed a blow or two but you’re gone and we are not; a new day dawned.