A beast with hundreds of horsepower has saddled up and has decided to ride west. Unleashing an apocalyptic fury on the open water, she twists and turns. Unlike the drunken stupor of Margaritaville bound Buffet fans moving from island to island, this machine glides with the slow, deliberate force of death. There is no executive order or emergency declaration which she will heed. She is coming, with her outlying riders of destruction and doom. And once you’ve stepped inside, rode hard, and given everything you know to the water; there is no going back. The beast owns you and you’re never going back.
One day, when the winds die down and the waters recede, the survivors will emerge from the ruins of our towns and villages. We will survey the damage. It will not be pretty. A modern-day Moses’ will release a drone from a bunker in the foothills of the western Appalachians. The digital bird of civilization will review the rubble and remains. Teams will begin rearranging rocks and moving trees in an attempt to regain control over a world that was never ours to dominate gives us a sense of purpose. We will speak of community, helping, neighbors, and pulling together. No one will utter the words climate change.
The great lie this beast brings to our shores is that it acts alone. We are led to believe Florence and her gang are an isolated event. They collude with no one. Florence is merely a larger than expected dot on a yearly cycle destruction and emergency management. These are lies. We are complicit in telling a lie. Florence represents the changing nature of our planet. It’s getting harder to sustain life in places in which we’ve taken as our God-given right to exist. That’s the truth. We’re complicit in denying the truth. While Christians will show great hospitality and compassion over the coming days as we respond to the needs of those impacted by this storm; our planet has real hospitality issues. Humanity is wearing out our welcome.
Until the beast turns north and rides into the sunset, we watch and wait. We heed and prepare. Store shelves are empty while panic gently ensues. Today, the roar of the beast’s engines isn’t as faint as they were yesterday. The plywood boards go up over the windows. Finally, our souls become obsequiously submissive to a randomly named metrological entity that has the power to kill us all. With each of these storms, there’s more on the line than any of us realize.
Be safe, be well, be blessed
Richard Lowell Bryant