Like many people, today I’m watching news about hurricane Irma ravaging Florida, even as it hit islands in the Caribbean, and that follows hurricane Harvey, not to mention the wildfires in the West. No doubt prayers for those affected went up in the Ingathering or Rally Sunday services so commonly held today.
While I’m prone to pull something out of the Universalist footlocker to speak to the occasion, in this case, I don’t think our particular tradition has much to add that others haven’t already said. The plaintive prayers written for those in storm-tossed sailing craft don’t conceive of meteorologists, rescue crews, organized relief or instant communication; on the other hand, casting the storm a metaphor for life dishonors those in the path of the real, threatening storm.
The only thing (maybe) to add in that a life of spiritual development may provide guidance and inner strength in time of crisis and an attitude of grace to those in distress. But, unlike the water and batteries, this is only acquired over long years; it takes time to prepare and like material resources, that time is a luxury to far too many. So, if you have that silent grace to spare, share it, and if you are not in harm’s way, take time to care for those who are.
To you in Florida, and coastal Texas or wherever people are threatened or hurt: our prayer are not simply good thoughts but also an act of spiritual support, for you are not alone in your trouble.
(The Rev.) Scott Wells