By Ralphine Major

The heart-wrenching images are humbling.  Just days after the historic eclipse, Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and later Louisiana.  Though it had been predicted, the scenes are staggering.  Record rainfall has turned roadways into rivers, covered cars completely, and ruined thousands of homes.  The magnitude of destruction has been overwhelming to watch.

First responders, the military, neighbors, and long lines of volunteers from across the country have manned boats, helicopters, jet skis, and dump trucks to rescue people and their pets.  Nursing home residents could be seen sitting in waist-deep water.  Buses are used to transport evacuees to shelters.  Sadly, there has been loss of life in the floodwaters, which makes the news of a baby’s birth even more joyous.  I have heard many leaders, including Rev. Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse, asking Americans to pray for all those affected by this catastrophe.  Many have lost everything.  Toys, pictures, the family Bible, and keepsakes are gone.  Homes and cars are destroyed.  Even comforts of daily life often taken for granted, such as a coffee pot, a couch, a glass of water, clothing, and shoes, are all gone.  Jobs and incomes have been swept away, and entire neighborhoods and towns have disappeared under floodwaters.  Even several oil refineries have been shut down.

Images of people carrying their pets to safety bring to mind the Bible story of Noah and the ark and God’s promise in Genesis 9:15 (NIV):    “Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.”  The rainbow is a reminder of God’s promise.  Count your blessings if you have shelter, food, and clothing.  Pray for those Americans who have suffered so much loss.

Piddle Diddle, the Widdle Penguin Update:  Saturday, September 9, 2017, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Book Signing, Thunder Road Author Rally, Maynardville Public Library, 296 Main Street, Maynardville, TN 37807, 865-992-7106.