I saw water for days, peering from one side of Folly Beach to the other.
I suddenly felt very small. I hear that sentiment frequently when people talk about seeing a cascading mountain or a blanket of stars on a clear night. It didn’t lose its truth on me, I am indeed very small.
I remember writing for The Wish Dish near its inception. I was so prideful then. I would love to tell you how much humility I’ve learned since then but I couldn’t adequately express it without feeling a not so small measure of shame from what it took to gain that humility. Entering a new city, realizing just how much of the world does not revolve around me, spending more than a few dinners at a table for one have taught me some things, some good things even if tough.
The mass of water I peered at on that day at the beach was a sort of controlled chaos. The tide came up and crept back down with a more or less predictable consistency.
Water in yards, lawn gnomes with just their eyes poking above it. Water in houses, damaging walls and furniture and childhood memories of people I did and didn’t know.
Water in streets, so thick people were kayaking to and from the few stores that were open over the weekend.
Hurricane Joaquin damaged so much of Charleston and surrounding areas of South Carolina, a place I now call home. Friends were trapped at home. Neighbor’s cars were sitting useless in pools once called driveways.
Water for days. I suddenly felt small. Because I couldn’t do much to help everyone. Lifting water logged furniture, helping people jump start cars, pushing other cars to the side of the road to sit and wait for the town to drain like a clogged sink. These actions are so small, like Band-Aids on a gaping wound.
Traffic picked up, cars began to honk again, and that was actually refreshing after an unsettling quiet filled only with the pattering of rain on a windshield during the last few days. The sky seems to be completely rung of the monotonous downpour that had come and taken too long a while to go.
Pray for Charleston. Pray for South Carolina. People are hurting. Houses are flooded. Cars won’t start. Schools have closed. But we have begun to erect shelters. Donate cans of food. Patch roofs. Comfort hearts.
I certainly am small. But the collective Spirit given by our wonderful God is so big. Communities have huddled together. Churches have prayed and acted. Friendships and new alliances have grown. That’s big. That’s God. Less me. More Him. Things like these teach me that best of all.