Today I wake up in yet another new home.
Yesterday morning, we awakened to water in the home where I had evacuated the day before. We prayed about what to do, and decided that we would stay put. First responders were telling folks not to evacuate unless they were in danger; the support structure was already strained nearly to the limit.
With internet and electricity, coffee and good companionship, I was able to stay connected with the parish, praying Morning Prayer via Facebook live, not once but twice, because there had been some confusion about when we were actually going to pray the Office–being able to pray is always a good thing.
By noonday, the septic tank in the Akards’ home was no longer working, and trees began to fall in the back yard taking down the power lines. That was when we decided that we were no longer safe. Carrying out a very large dog, two cats, and provisions through the flooded drive way to my friend’s Subaru, we were able to drive out; somehow, the road was still passable. A block later, we were surprised to find houses above water and the road clear. Such a mystery of flowing water.
Charting our way north via a phone map that told us where roads would be flooded, with only one incident of high water, we were able to drive to Fairfield subdivision, where my friends and I separated with goodbye hugs to our new homes.
The youngest son of my new host family had kindly cleared out his room for me to use–“because it has a private bath.”
For the third time in a little over a year, I find my temporary home being a child’s room.
Showered and filled with a warm bowl of homemade soup, we gathered around the family’s dining room table at 5 PM for Holy Eucharist. Neighbors joined us, and we were eleven celebrating the Lord’s meal. Via the gift of internet, close to 4,000 people celebrated Communion together.
Today is another day.
Shortly I’ll go back to the dining room table and pray Noonday Prayer with my host family and our internet community.
Our Curate, Alan’s+, internet is out and water is rising near his home. He is with his wife and two very delightful and active sons, and he has their safety in mind. Still he continues to coordinate relief efforts for our parish via his phone with limited cell coverage. He provides pastoral care from afar.
Our Senior Warden traveled through flood waters to serve with relief efforts at the church. His wife, who is in the midst of cancer treatment, came to my house and helped move items to safety. Their special needs daughter has just received a diagnosis of a syndrome with a terminal outcome. Yet they continue to serve others.
I am deeply moved by the generosity of people who are no longer strangers but companions in the way. Story after story after story about how God works through people, whether they know they are doing God’s work or not.
People who never pray are praying. I’ve been pondering the twenty-four prayer vigil that is going on right now. A vigil God may have been calling us to for some time now, and to which we have finally said yes.
These are ways that God is active and responding and working through terrible disaster.
Good morning God, this is your day. I am your child. Please show me your way.