As I prepared to leave for a conference in D.C., heavy rains hit Alabama and then the threat of Irma wove its way into the news. I had planned to celebrate my sister's retirement after our conference together, hop in her new RV home and drive back to Alabama where she plans to stay for a month. As our day of departure drew near, the threat of Irma became headlines with Florida the expected target of her fury.
Before leaving for D.C., I found myself reflecting on my own life, possessions and wondering what my reaction would be to a flood. I live in a ground floor apartment in a state that sees tropical storms with some regularity. What would I do or how would I react if I lost all in a flood? At first, I felt a sense of panic. What would I take with me? What would I be devastated to lose? Are there items I could not replace?
Experiencing this time of turmoil and the unpredictability of tropical storms has challenged me to "be prepared", making digital copies of pictures and slides to create "safer places" for the things I most value, and to live with a spirit of surrender, remembering that all I have is temporary and will not accompany me into my heavenly home. It has also challenged me to focus on people, to show gratitude to those I appreciate, love to those I care about, and generosity and compassion to those who have been so unfortunate to have lost their own treasures due to storms or misfortune. May they be blessed and supported by us all.