The eleven o’clock news was on television as Pam and Al sipped their tea and nibbled their snacks cozily watching the dilemma of people in Santa Cruz as they fled their flooded homes in the midst of the storm. “Isn’t it awful, dear?” Pam asked as she slid into a more comfortable position in her deep armchair, secure in the dry stability of her own lovely home farther down the same California coast. The rain was drumming on the tile roof, but it had been a welcome sound for a week now after the drought, and the fact that it was harder than ever didn’t penetrate the emotions of either husband or wife, nor sound any alarm in their minds. “I’ll take the cups out to rinse them,” said Pam, as she disappeared into the kitchen. A shriek followed that ealm remark, “Come quick.… oh.…” and Al bounded out to see what was happening. Water was pouring in under the doors and when the front door was opened to see what was going on, a foot deep river of water swooshed into the living room, down the stairway to the next floor.… The next minutes were spent in moving furniture, pulling up rugs, trying to get everything out of the path of the rushing torrent, as well as lugging a door that was conveniently off its hinges to use as a barrier to divert the flow. Minutes became hours as the work continued, and days were involved in trying to repair the damages and dry out the musty odor that penetrated the house.

How many people have recently had a vivid demonstration of what it means to be totally secure, warm, dry, able to choose what they want to be doing with their time and energy—and a moment later have been plunged into danger from floods of water, snow, ...

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