The last couple of weeks have been a time of trial for the state of Texas, and at the same time a season of revealing. Hurricane Harvey brought terrible destruction and unprecedented rains, but even as the winds and rain pummeled the coast, the storm shone a spotlight on both the character of Texans and the compassion of America in general.
I’m blessed to live in Texas, and am fortunate to call the Houston area home. The people here are simply remarkable. The strength and poise that has defined the response over the last couple of weeks is exactly the sort of deep-rooted strength and resilience we all hope for in our communities.
Likewise, people from all over the country have sacrificially given of their time, or have made financial contributions to the relief effort, once again proving that as Americans we are so much more than the negative caricature our enemies would like to use to define us.
Reflecting on the response to Harvey, Ted recently said:
The outpouring of love we’ve seen has been extraordinary. It wasn’t just first responders. We cannot overstate the gratitude Texas feels for the heroes of Harvey, many from well beyond Texas. The most powerful story of Harvey is the thousands of ordinary men and women who stepped up to save their neighbors, who grabbed a boat or a jet ski or anything that could float and went into harm’s way to pull people out of life-endangering situations. Over 100 boats came from the Cajun Navy. They’d go in, save people and then cook jambalaya. Now that’s neighborly love. I met people who came from Fort Worth, Lubbock, East Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Alaska, New York and California.
He went on to say:
Today there are no Democrats, there are no Republicans. On other days there may be issues that divide us. We’ll continue to debate tax policy and everything else. But today we are all Americans, we are all Texans. We are standing as one.
Shared struggles have a way of drawing us together as Americans. With Hurricane Irma bearing down on Florida with a strength and fury that may again set records, the images of destruction it caused many Caribbean islands are a vivid reminder that this storm is a monster. As the storm now impacts the mainland of the United States it is important for us to keep the people of Florida in our prayers.
Once the clouds part, I’m confident we will see people coming together again in ways that will reaffirm the compassion that lies at the core of the goodness that makes America such an amazing place.