04 Sep FAMILY: OUR GREATEST REFUGE DURING LIFE’S STORMS
By McKayla Skinner
Family is our greatest refuge during life’s storms. This timeless truth was proven once again during the recent devastating natural disaster in Texas, known as Hurricane Harvey. In tracking the headlines on the hurricane three accounts illustrated as many lessons to me about the importance of family: (1) families are worth protecting, (2) family ties give hope, and (3) strong families are united.
Families Are Worth Protecting
The McAlester News recorded the account of the Crenshaw family who left Texas, to temporarily live with family in Oklahoma, stating,
Todd and Seagram Crenshaw wanted to keep their family safe from Hurricane Harvey… Seagram Crenshaw said the family is scared, but knows they are more fortunate than others. “Not knowing how long you’re going to be gone and if you’re going to come back to something is scary,” Seagram Crenshaw said. “But we’re lucky that we’re not getting hit as bad as other places.” The unknown keeps the family in Oklahoma for now, but… they will return when it’s safe.
From this account we can clearly see that protecting your family often means preparing them for life’s storms, whether they be natural disasters, or a myriad of other losses. This might mean taking major precautions, just as the Crenshaw family did, but ultimately it is worth the price to protect your family.
Family Ties Give Hope
Another account is given by CNN of a young man by the name of Aaron Mitchell who was trying to reconnect with his father:
Mitchell told CNN’s Nick Valencia how he had walked 12 miles in the dark to his father’s house in a failed bid to find his parent. Mitchell had ridden out the storm and described the terror. “I felt like “The Wizard of Oz” man. I was scared. I’ve seen a lot of things but that terrified me. I just lost everything I worked for. Everything. The only thing I got are the clothes on my back” he said, visibly shocked.
Fortunately, the TV crew loaned him a satellite phone, and Aaron “broke down as he spoke to his father for the first time since deadly Hurricane Harvey slammed into his home in Aransas Pass, Texas. “Dad I love you” he said, weeping.” In this account it is clear even amid mass devastation and loss, family ties give hope.
Strong Families Are United
Lastly, a pastor local to the area shared his family’s experience:
We live at ground-zero in Houston… We have five children, including triplet boys aged 13 months. And, like thousands of other families across the Houston metroplex, we are experiencing apocalyptic and eerie feelings of unrest, which began on Thursday when gas stations ran out of fuel and grocery stores out of water… Our 8-year-old Lily Faith is asking us to define “catastrophic,” “life-threating flooding” and “unprecedented crisis…” [and the kids are] saying, “Daddy, I am scared… Why do the warnings keep sounding? … Are we going to be okay, Daddy?” My wife, Audrey and I are in a constant state of monitoring the situation while trying to stay calm for our children… [and wondering] How on earth would we get five children on our roof (three of them babies) if it comes to that?… My wife and I have had to work through scenarios of who would grab which baby while directing our older two children to stay in a safe place. So what can we do in this moment? We can pray. We can join with hundreds and thousands of others and asking God to help us.
Truly, life’s greatest storms are experienced in the family circle. However, one can note the strength and solidarity that comes from being united, just as this family was. Despite the challenges they were experiencing, they took it as an opportunity to strengthen their relationships and exemplified full partnership in their marriage.