As we journeyed, Twitter lit up with prayers for my hometown. Facebook gave evidence of the body of Christ opening their doors for shelter and donating money to help with rescue and rebuilding. My inbox filled with notes from friends. My wife sat next to me, writing notes of encouragement to friends who stayed behind. She also began to conceive of a plan to fill up a truck with supplies to take back to folks in our neighborhood.
As I think back to that moment, with a mass of primeval waters rushing by us on either side of I-10, I still can’t make moral sense of Hurricane Harvey. Not today; not in the middle of it. But I do find myself profoundly grateful for the people of God and the countless good citizens who choose to be with us and with my hometown in the middle of the storm.
If Jesus weeps over the death of a friend, gone too soon from this earth, then Phaedra is right to weep too for all that has gone wrong in Houston. If Jesus offers his Spirit so that his disciples might be a renewed people, then the only reasonable thing for us to do as God’s people is to somehow, someway become Christ’s wounded healers to a hurting world.
For now, that’s the only way I can figure out how to cope with Hurricane Harvey.
W. David O. Taylor is assistant professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary and based at the Fuller Texas campus in Houston. His most recent book is The Theater of God’s Glory: Calvin, Creation, and the Arts (Eerdmans, 2017)