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GARRISON: Harvey as American Looking Glass


The Apostle Paul declared in the so called “love chapter” of I Corinthians that “now we see in the mirror dimly, but then face to face.”  True no doubt in the most powerful spiritual sense, but there is nothing in such writings to suggest that the goodness and virtue not only of God’s love for us but of our love for each other as well can be visible, even palpable right here on this imperfect earth we all inhabit.

Keep in mind that there is nothing unique or even out of the ordinary about the magnificent ways Americans react and respond to tragedy and disaster.  Three hurricanes over the past twenty years, Katrina, Sandy and now Harvey, have done what hurricanes have done to the earth for hundreds of thousands of years; mayhem, destruction and human suffering beyond comprehension of mere mortal minds.  And in each case cops, firefighters, volunteers from National Guard units all over the country have responded at once with selfless disregard for the potential of harm to themselves and their comrades.

We can and should take the time to recount the bravery and steadfastness not just of those listed above but of the hundreds of thousands of private citizens who have stopped their lives in mid-sentence, loaded up with whatever they could muster in their vehicles—everything from chain saws and carpentry tools, plumbing supplies and electrical tools—and headed for the overwhelming devastation of Texas, Louisiana, coastal New York and New Jersey or any other place that is clobbered by Mother Nature or a terrorist attack.  And so we do just that; we identify them and urge them on.  But much more than that grocery stores, Walmart, Meier, Costco, etc., fill those pickups, family vans and trailers plus rental units by the thousands, to send along for help to the victims.  And get this—nobody considers the race, ethnicity or politics of those in need when they consider going or when they get there.

Let’s think this through together for just a moment.  While the tyrants and criminals on the college campuses and at rallies where folks are demonstrating for something they can find for an excuse to beat, pummel and burn like the true vermin they are, all those redneck hillbillies the Left loves to hate are loading up and heading out to render aid and care to Hispanics, blacks, and every other description of Homo Sapiens.  A couple factoids for your consideration.  First, the vast majority of those volunteering and heading south without the slightest inkling or consideration for those ethnic identifiers are white.  Sorry, but it’s true—has to be—as Caucasians make up somewhere north of 60% of the population.  Damn those white guys; must be some manifestation of their “white privilege” or their “white supremacy” coming through. Now don’t get me wrong; God’s messengers, his very Angels, know no color barriers and to be sure our brothers and sisters of color all across the country are responding as well.  But as I just said, whites are the big majority.

Once they have made it to Houston or other location of devastation nobody is distinguishing the mother and baby, elderly couple trapped without food or water or the church struggling in vain to keep scores of folks from drowning by color.  Nobody takes time to enter into some act of discrimination.  There are no reports of any volunteers turning their backs on the mom from Mexico or the family of black folks.  We save anybody we can find. 

So as we continue to watch in horror and pain the video images of this awful scene, let’s not forget to pray for the safety and success of those who have dropped everything and simply and without fanfare determined to, as Christ said, “minister unto the least of these, my brothers and sisters”.  And in so doing, “minister unto me.”  So to all those our neighbors, friends and family tending to the least of these, yours is the sacrifice, the leadership and the incarnation of the Holy Spirit that tells us there is still a wellspring of goodness and selfless love that will overpower Hurricane Harvey.  And in so doing they demonstrate the true goodness of this grand American experiment in Liberty we have nurtured for over 250 years.  Let’s hold to that thought for a while.  

Photo Credit: Win McName / Getty Images

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