Peace flooded in after Hurricane Irma

This past week, I was eyewitness to some of the incredible upheaval that Hurricane Irma left behind in Florida.

As one of five volunteer chaplains, I spent last week in Naples, Florida. We met people from various walks of life. The stories were all similar – people have lost a lot. Their houses were badly damaged by wind and water, and the contents are now in heaps by the side of the road destined for the dump.

People are processing the value of material goods and pondering a deeper meaning in life. Despite their loss, they invited us into their homes or onto their front lawns, and into their lives as they talked and wept. They were very hospitable.

What we discovered is that often the storm wasn’t the biggest challenge they were facing. Life had already presented them with diverse challenges, some of them gut-wrenching. A child that was murdered, a marriage on the verge of divorce, post-traumatic stress syndrome after serving in war, and on and on. Pain ran deep. And then on top of it, they were hit with a hurricane.

We found people really wanting to open their hearts to the Lord, wanting to be forgiven and to find peace. It’s like they were hearing Jesus knocking on their heart’s door, and they were ready to open it. And once they did, the way that people described it was that they felt a peace come over them. Peace that passes understanding.

The storm came over a month ago, but now peace has come too.

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