Two weeks ago we decided to come down to Houston and help. The impact of Hurricane Harvey hit home. We knew our help would be small. But we believed that little things can make a big difference in times of need. An unexpected lift. A helping hand. A comforting conversation.
People came together. Strangers became saviors. Distant neighbors became lifelong friends. A city rich in contrasting colors spilled into the streets with total disregard for tints or pigments. A Muslim boy gave blankets to a Catholic woman. A white cop helped a black family onto his boat. A liberal pulled sheetrock out of a conservative’s walls. No one asked for documentation or green cards.
We learned a lot, but remembered even more. Core values and shared beliefs that were somehow lost or buried or forgotten, all washed up on our doorstep. People became people again. And we waded in our sameness. Our tears flowed in the same direction. Our smiles were the same shape. And, when life was flooded, we all reached for the same thing: each other.
Boats were sent for animals and loved ones. Family heirlooms and wedding albums were pulled out of windows. Silent memoirs were plucked from soaking shelves. Cars and clothes and TVs and toys and fine china and pricey furniture were left to float on their own. In the moments where life mattered most, we all remembered what really mattered.
With as much damage and destruction that our city and state endured the past 9 days, I hope a little of what was in that rain remains. I hope it soaked into all of us – just enough to move forward without forgetting what it left behind. And, when the streets are dry, and homes are rebuilt, and strangers become strangers again, I hope we remember what was in that Water.