Waters rising. People fleeing for their lives, hoping to make it to higher ground. A baby clinging to his dead mother. People clinging to hope on top of cars, roofs, trapped in houses where the water just keeps rising. It seems Biblical. It also seems eerily familiar as a scenario we’ve been warned about by scientists who have predicted that the worst possible storms would result from how we have altered this planet’s delicate balance. They’ve warned that we are running out of time. Time just caught up with us.

Disasters often bring out the best in people, and we’ve seen that in Texas this week. Strangers came from out of state with boats to rescue people. TV crews pulled people onto boats and freed them from cars that were sinking. Men jumped into deep water to save someone who was drowning. No one cared about race, or politics, or economic status. They cared that their fellow human beings were in trouble and needed help, and they worked tirelessly in waist-deep water with rain pelting them mercilessly, to save lives that were in danger. Volunteers with animal rescue organizations like the Humane Society saved animals who were abandoned, some even chained (yes, disasters also bring out the worst in people.) But the predominant stories were of heroism and a recognition that our obligation as sentient beings is to help each other.

We need to look at this. We need to think deeply about this and remember that this is who we are supposed to be. We were not put on this earth to yell hateful slogans and threaten the lives of those who aren’t the same color as we are. We were not put on this earth to resurrect the evil of the Nazi regime and laugh about running down a young woman in a car. There could be no clearer distinctions between the worst of who we can be and the best of who we can be than Charlottesville and Houston. We need to look at that.

America is in trouble. Hatred has filled our streets and we have no leadership. The man who was elected to lead us doesn’t know how, doesn’t care, and is titillated by hatred. But he is one man, and we are many. He flew into Texas for a photo-op, but hundreds of American citizens made their way to Houston to save lives. They are the ones who not only brought desperate people to higher ground, but found within themselves the higher ground of courage and compassion.

These floods did not wash away the hatred that roams the streets of our country. But it reminded us that we have a choice about who we can be. We can either drown in bigotry and prejudice or we can lift ourselves above raging waters, above storms, above hatred, and be who God intended us to be. Look at the footage of those who were rescued. Look into their eyes. Gratitude for the hands that reached out to save them doesn’t have a color or a political party. It just is.


4 Responses to HIGHER GROUND

  1. Rodney Wilson says:

    Yes and amen.

  2. David Marks says:

    Beautiful tribute to what America should strive to be, particularly if we are to evolve as a nation, Patti. I am disgusted by what hatred can do to human beings, and it’s rather disturbing that this country elected a president filled with that evil. You are right, however, in that the people of Texas proved that heroism is a verb, a powerful one, and the message they have sent across this great nation is one of goodwill to others of all races and types. Thank you for this one.

  3. Ken W. Brown says:

    Ty Patti for your ability to chrystize my feelings.

  4. Ken Newelt says:

    Wow. Really brings it home. Sharing. Love your books and your blog. Your writing elevates my consciousness and reminds me of my personal accountability. We all need to be a part of the solution. Thanks.

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