God did not send but can be found within the Hurricane

Communities of faith are caring for “the least of these” in the wake of Hurricane Harvey; from a Houston Chronicle op-ed

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The Houston Chronicle has an op-ed up (written by David J. Segal) that is a good reminder in this time of suffering;

When disaster strikes, we sometimes want to shake our fists at the heavens and shout, “Why?”

In the biblical book of Job, too, the suffering man challenges God for letting him suffer. God answers from “out of the hurricane” (Job 38:1) – belatedly, cryptically, perhaps cruelly – by reminding Job how small and feeble humans are in the vastness of creation.

Natural disasters have a tendency to do that, to remind us of our limitations, how much is out of our control. In the wake of something devastatingly wild like Hurricane Harvey, the job of faith leaders is to call us to compassionate, sustained action around what we can control.

That’s why the Rev. Barkley Thompson, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral downtown, believes that, “God does not cause the hurricane but can be found within it. God is in the redemption we will find together in response to this disaster.”


Inside the convention center shelter, Thompson has seen clergy at work, serving as counselors, which sometimes just means listening to people tell their stories.

“People even or especially in crisis or trauma, some turn inward but others need to tell their stories. It’s as if experiences don’t become real until you can recount them to someone else,” he says. “Listening to someone tell their story, you can see the expression on their face change, the clenched tension release. That’s what all clergy can provide – an ear.”


Go check out the whole thing and learn more about how communities of faith are caring for “the least of these” in the wake of Hurricane Harvey


image: Evacuees, volunteers and first responders offer a prayer at The Forge for Families, a Christian organization that has been transformed into a Red Cross shelter. (by Yi-Chin Lee, Staff Houston Chronicle)

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