Letter Home – To the city I love

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To the good people in Columbia,

I’m headed home today, and home is under water. Your home, my home. Streets you live and I grew up on are on the national news. I just saw that Jarvis Klapman road was closed today. That’s how my mom got to work for 30 years. In college, my first rental house was right next door to the flooded Gervais Street Bridge, pictured above in prettier times.

Phrases like “structural integrity” and “compromised foundations” are thrown about as if they aren’t talking about the roads you take to work or the houses you live in. Flood, bursting dams, evacuations? This can’t be real.

No, not here. Not home.

Home is so different from hometown. Hometowns you leave behind, hoping they change rather than stepping into change ourselves. But home has a way of staying the same. It’s steady. A rock while we grow. Sometimes home seems indestructible. Sometimes things seem like they will always be. We know too well that isn’t true. We see the water and know it isn’t true.

I can’t imagine how numb you feel. I can’t imagine how surreal this seems. The skies opened up, it starting raining and didn’t stop. Then dams broke, streets flooded and lives and livelihoods washed away. Here on the first dry, sunny week, it feels like it will never be right again. How does a person try to remember their home insurance policy AND look through the mud for stored baby blankets wedding photo albums?

It’s hard. It will be hard for a long time. But we can do hard things. WE can do hard things (cited here). Not you yourself. Please don’t try to pick up the pieces alone. Please don’t try to tough it out. There is a hardheaded stubbornness in the city. Columbians don’t survive every infamously hot summer without some grit. Take the case of water, accept the help in cleaning out your home, receive the hug when it’s all too much.

Fight like the fighters you are. But also trust more deeply than you have ever trusted. Know that the Lord is coming. He sees you and your home and car and business. Every day you will be sustained. Every day.

The Lord never leaves or forsakes. He is for people at the end of the rope, people who have tremendous loss. So on the days that are just too hard and the mess is just too much, please remember this. You, as a people, are too incredible to cave.

Fight and trust. Fight and trust.

Log on to floodscwithlove.com to see how we all can serve our state.

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