It is hard for us to wrap our mind around all that unfolded: major coastal hurricanes affecting Texas, the Gulf, Southern Florida, Puerto Rico, Dominica, and other islands. Then there was the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that shook Central Mexico, then the senseless Las Vegas shooting that killed 59 people and injured hundreds. Then, to top that off, California wildfires erupted, then voraciously spread, taking with it dozens of lives, and reducing homes, businesses, and property to ashes.
As the destruction unfolded, in disbelief, we cried out, "Why?" And some wondered where God was in all of this. .
In the past few months, thousands of rescue workers have come to the aid of those in danger, supporting those who have lost much. Firefighters, first responders, police, Red Cross and other agencies have come together to help victims. Within the affected communities, we have seen support not only by rescue workers, but by citizens. Neighbors helping neighbors, and complete strangers reaching out to those they did not know, and citizens throughout the country have donated money and goods to help people rebuild their lives.
And where was God, some may ask? In the midst of destruction, miracles can appear. One family who lost their home to the California wildfire, was later reunited with their family pet. In another instance, a woman shed tears of joy as she held up her missing wedding ring, found in the rubble where her home once stood. A family in Corpus Christi, who lost their home to an electrical fire during the hurricane, said one thing was left standing on their property after the storm: a statue of the Virgin Mary.
Despite tragedy, God is with His people. His love is seen in the embrace of those who rescued the afflicted. His love is embedded in the hearts of those who have reached out with compassion for their fellow man. Hope has risen up through the ashes. And where love and compassion live, God also abides. He is the light that shines out in the darkness.