We didn’t really expect it would be much more than tropical torrential rainfall, but it continued for days. Hurricane Joaquin and moisture conditions above the Southeast United States turned on the faucet of brutal flooding, primarily on central and coastal South Carolina.
If you’re not familiar with these parts, I live in the Upstate, near the mountains. We’re fine. But our friends and neighbors further south, toward the ocean—they’re displaced from destroyed houses and swimming through their neighborhoods. [Follow #SCflood for more.]
A water-boiling ordinance is in effect for a few days, at least 14 have died, tens of thousands are without electricity—it sounds like a war zone.
Flooding may have the nation’s attention, but this is only part of the story.
Assessing the Damage
I didn’t expect disaster so close to home, but when I saw the damage, I did expect the Church to do something.
If you’re not really a church or religion person and you’ve had trouble seeing anything good come from Christians, I’m sorry. You have stories and experiences of terrible mistreatment, divisiveness, rejection, or worse. It’s a rotten injustice when someone neglects to treat another with human dignity, especially if it’s in the name of a belief system.
While acknowledging that is a reality for many of us, I’d also like to invite you to see that not all acts motivated by belief systems are negative ones. Christians often get it wrong, but we often get it right, too. Sometimes followers of Jesus can act in the face of tragedy and disaster to make a real difference for the stranded, the hurting, the grieving.
A Dose of Hope
The floodwaters of South Carolina have shown us, in only a few days, that there is still great, often untapped power in the Church.
I’ve seen great need emerge, and the Church escape its walls to gather and provide for those in need. Faith in action is a beautiful thing, for it brings a dose of hope into bleak scenarios.
Loving God and loving our neighbors can’t remain a theory when your state becomes a disaster site. Theology looks more like mobilization during a time of need, like donating cases of bottled water and canned food. It looks like partnering with logistics, trucks, and chainsaw teams to work in areas of severe damage.
The way of Jesus is not to leave people in their struggle, but to go out for rescue missions.
And seeing that makes me believe God’s not done using imperfect people to do significant things.
What’s one way you’ve seen people of faith step up to do something good?