It’s Saturday of the three-day Labor Day weekend, which is normally a slow time for news. Maybe that’s why so many stories in the headlines aren’t really news at all, but things that haven’t happened yet and may not (worries that Trump will end DACA, predictions that Congress will save DACA, a rumor that Trump fired James Comey for failing to clear his name, a prediction that Trump will renege on his $1 million gift to Texas flood victims – all of this is more suited to a Ouija board than a news outlet).
But this particular holiday weekend, there is plenty of real news to occupy our attention. Much of it is still being made in Texas and Louisiana, where people continue to be rescued from heavy floods by armies of heroic first responders and citizen volunteers. Even reporters sent to the scene to document the devastation have put down their cameras and microphones to pitch in and help save people. One particularly moving story involved a woman who was being evacuated from her flooded home when she begged rescuers to save the one thing she couldn’t bear to lose: the World War II-era American flag that had once draped her military veteran dad’s coffin. The rescuers braved the flood waters to go back in and retrieve it for her.
This combination of widespread devastation with (most) Americans putting aside petty differences and bravely coming together to help each other is reminiscent of 9/11 and other moments of terrible tragedy and loss in American history. Even though some are sure to object, President Trump has quite appropriately declared Sunday to be an official National Day of Prayer for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. At the link, you can read more and see video of his announcement. I know you’ll join me in prayer on that day, and every day until the suffering passes. And I’d suggest we also add a prayer that Hurricane Irma, currently still out at sea and unpredictable, doesn’t strengthen and come ashore in populated areas.