Riding the storm out…

The SRQ in my blog title is the airport code for Sarasota, Florida  in case you didn’t know. All week we’ve been hearing about Hurricane Irma.

All week long we’ve been watching the news. All week long we’ve allowed our anxiety and worry take a front seat to life. All week long we’ve wrestled with big vital questions…

Do we stay?
Do we go?
Where do we go?
What if we get stuck on the road with no gas (valid question)?
What happens to my house / business / neighbors / friends?

Most of my northern people do not understand my reason for staying. Honestly, much of it comes from denial. It’s this whole attitude of “it’s not coming at us” or the famous “Sarasota is sacred” and therefore immune to such catastrophes.

Not this time. The latest predictions are that my beloved SRQ is about to be pummeled by one of the worst natural disasters in my lifetime.

irma graphic

Photo courtesy of noaa.gov, 5am Sunday

And because I work at a church that has a hurricane proof building, we opened as a shelter. Not like an official shelter. You know the kind where it’s staffed with people who know what they are doing? More like a group of people trying to love others the same way Jesus said we should.

It’s kinda crazy y’all. We’ve got all manner of people and animals hanging out in our building. Everyone is afraid. As is to be expected when a Cat 4 with 120+ winds is coming for ya.

Imagine packing your family and pets and leaving your house – and you get to wonder for days if it will be there when you come back. Some folks will live up north all year just to avoid such terrifying circumstances. Not just snowstorms, but freezing cold and ice and lack of sunshine winters. I guess we all have our own kind of crazy weather tolerance.

But here’s the cool thing – we are not facing this alone. We have each other. We have a God who loves us. We have a building that will hold a lot of people comfortably. And we will get through this storm together.

Keep us in your prayers. The worst of it is coming today and tonight, and everyone’s got frayed nerves already. We still have power which helps a whole bunch, but it can go at any minute. So for now there’s coffee and A/C, and I’m wondering since it’s a Sunday morning, can we count this as our weekend attendance? Trying to be funny here, y’all. Levity helps.

And your prayers do too! Not that the storm doesn’t come, but that we have peace in the midst of it.

Thanks for reading, until next time!



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