At this very moment, I was scheduled to be on a plane to Iceland. Except I’m sitting on a couch in the Miller’s home writing this.
As I walked through the days after my second flood in less than two years, a place of joy was anticipating the trip my friend and I had planned several months ago to go again to Iceland.
The last time I went to Iceland, it was only weeks after the Tax Day Flood. My friend, whose home is in Georgia, had been visiting me when during that storm and had gone through the flooding with me. In Iceland we found healing and beauty and rest.
We planned this return trip to Iceland sitting on the couches of the Cuellars’ home, my temporary housing this past year. We would go to the places we hadn’t visited the last time, and we would celebrate my return home to the beautifully restored Rectory.
Then Hurricane Harvey changed everything.
In the days after the flooding, I began to replace items destroyed by five feet high flood waters. I quickly ordered a new coat, suitcase, art supplies, and shoes to replace those destroyed in this second flood, and I had them delivered to my friend in Georgia since mail service was uncertain in Houston.
Then Hurricane Irma began it’s own destructive path. Weather projections placed its route through Georgia about the time we were scheduled to fly out of Atlanta.
This morning, after a day and night of Irma’s torrential rain and roaring winds in the Georgia mountains, my friend has awakened to downed trees, blocked roads, and no electricity. Even though Irma has passed, it is not likely she could have made it to the airport. Thankfully on Sunday we had been able to change our travel plans and are on a flight to Iceland on Thursday.
With two extra days in Houston, I can continue to prepare to move into my new temporary house. I’ll have two extra days to make sure things are well in the parish before I leave.
God has brought me in safety to this new day. The birds are singing. I’ve had coffee and eaten breakfast while enjoying the hospitality of friends. Soon I will get in a car generously loaned to me by still other friends and go to a job that I love. I have hope and possibilities and resources beyond measure.
There is a prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book that Rev. Katie+ prayed during a Facebook Live worship. It’s a prayer that we can all hold on to in the midst of the changes and chances of this life.
God of the present moment, God who in Jesus stills the storm
And soothes the frantic heart; Bring hope and courage to all people in uncertainty, Bring hope that you will make us the equal of whatever lies ahead. Bring us courage to endure what cannot be avoided, for your will is health and wholeness;
You are God, and we need you. AMEN