For more than a week we have been seeing pictures out of Houston of a veritable flotilla of flat bottom boats rescuing people stranded in their homes by the rising waters of Hurricane Harvey.
This became personal to me when I learned last week that my brother, Jay and his wife Sharon, were among those that needed to be rescued from their home in the suburb of Kingwood. What made this particularly challenging is that my brother is wheel chair bound with a serious heart condition and a medical pack continuously delivering medication to his heart, further complicated by a broken hip.
Through a remarkable set of circumstances it appears that God’s protective arm was always close at hand. Fortunately, my brother’s daughter, Chris was at their house as the waters started to rise and approach the front doorstep. She happened to look out the front of the house and saw a man in a boat proceeding down their street. She hailed him down and said she needed help in evacuating her parents. She explained that my brother could not get out of his wheel chair, and somehow had to be lifted into the boat, wheel chair and all.
She was told not to worry, that he would go get help. He returned with three other men who lifted my brother and his wheel chair into the boat. They then walked the boat through a swift current to higher ground quite some distance away.
God’s provision for Jay and Sharon did not end with the rescue. Friends from their church took them in and gave up their first floor master bedroom. A co-worker of their daughter referred them to a contractor who specializes in flood cleanup and restoration whom they were able to hire immediately instead of ending up on some other contractor’s waiting list.
The water reached five feet in their first floor, destroying nearly all furniture, appliances, personal possessions, and their car. The furniture and other items tumbled from room to room. Almost nothing was found in the room in which it had been placed. Yesterday as the workmen and their daughters were cleaning up, someone brought a large bucket with the label, “The Blessing Bucket from God’s Pit Crew” with the following message, “We pray that the contents will bless you.” Among the contents was a new NIV Bible, the very kind of Bible Sharon lost in the flood.
One final vignette…Sharon had a couple of electronic candles on high book shelves beside the fire place that could be turned on by a remote control. As the workmen were cleaning up yesterday, a couple of the candles came on and started to flicker. The remote was nowhere to be found. No one knows how they came on. Sharon thought the candles were letting the workmen know that in spite of all that has happened, the light of Christ was still present. The number of volunteers and circumstances would seem to confirm his presence.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you invited me in; I needed clothes and you clothed me; I was sick and you looked after me.” (Matthew 25:35-36)