Skip to main content

Harvey Brought Me Hope

Hurricane Harvey and its rain brought much destruction and despair to the Texas Gulf Coast region, but what you may not know, is that it also brought Hope.

Before Harvey, I was inundated by arguing, disagreements, violence and indifference on social media, in the news and in popular culture. Everywhere I looked, people seemed at odds with one another. Then Harvey happened.

Harvey came onshore late Friday night south of us. We were on the dirty side of the storm which brought severe thunderstorms, wind gusts and spawned tornadoes. That night a tornado ripped through my neighborhood waking us up with the undeniable sound of a freight train and things pelting the windows. After a few terrifying minutes, the worst was over. We were scared but fine. When the sun came up and we looked outside, we realized the tornado had just barely missed our house while seriously damaging those around us. We were stunned at the damage.

Soon, everyone began pouring out of their homes to check on each other. Thankfully, no one in our area was injured. Almost immediately, people started arriving to the worst hit streets just behind us to begin assessing their needs, cleaning up, cutting up trees, tarping roofs and offering people places to stay. I don’t remember hearing that anyone put out the “word” that help was needed, they just turned up. My husband and son went out to help a neighbor cut trees off his roof while the girls and I went to check on friends. I was amazed by what we saw. The contrast between the destruction of these homes and the sheer number of people out there helping in every way imaginable. It was an awesome sight. There was so much to be thankful for.

My story is just one of thousands such stories from Harvey. You’ve heard the big stories, such as the Catholic Houston businessman who immediately threw open the doors to his furniture stores to anyone needing shelter, or how JJ Watt, NFL superstar, made a quick video on his phone to raise some money for aid and ended up raising over $35 million. How about the Cajun Navy? Those determined men and women who hitched up their boats and headed straight for the Houston area to help out first responders with water rescues.

There are so many stories to tell. What Mattress Mac, JJ Watt and the Cajun Navy did was big and public but those actions are exactly the type of things that many people were doing on a smaller, less public scale with their friends, family, community and even for strangers. Everywhere you looked, you saw the corporal works of mercy in action. Without being asked, told, or even expected people were taking care of one another. Over and over. And it is ongoing as there are still many communities overwhelmed and needing help.

These are the stories from Harvey I want to remember. Heartwarming and selfless actions taken by regular people to help out and support those hurt by Harvey and the floods. When people who were helping were asked “why” by so many reporters, the answer time and again was, “That’s just what you do.” These are the stories that fill me with Hope for our future.

The hard truth is that this will be a long recovery and the full repercussions will not be known for some time, but this tragedy revealed the humanity and compassion we still have for one another.

Tweet: In the midst of the devastation, Harvey brought Hope to @LisaHenleyJones

Popular posts from this blog

Prayer to End the School Year

Another school year is coming to an end.  And what a year the 2017-2018 school year was..... The events of the last 9 months have made me not only thankful to see it end but needing to get on my knees to Thank God for many things.  This school year began with Hurricane Harvey hitting our area and ended with the devastating school shooting at nearby Santa Fe High School. In the middle of the crisis around us there were so many beautiful things, events and people that touched and changed our community and family for the better.  Let's just start with the teachers and administrators who have interacted with my kids this year...  A special social studies teacher that made a fast friend out of my geography obsessed daughter, an ELA teacher who slowly won my oldest daughter over with her love of the written word, a soccer trainer who pushed my son harder than he thought he could handle, and then helped him recognize how that hard work paid off.  What about a school nurse who repeated

My Favorite Catholic Children's Bibles

How do you select a Catholic Children's Bible?  Which children's bible is best for my kids?  Those are questions I get asked all the time.  Searching in my house I discovered almost a dozen different Catholic Bibles for kids or youth on our shelves. When looking for a children's bible or book of bible stories for children, there are several things to take into consideration.  How old is the child?  Do you want something easy to read in story form or a bible with scripture text?  How big or heavy is the book? Is the children's bible a keepsake to commemorate a special event like a baptism, first communion or confirmation? And the answers to these questions might change as the child grows and develops or you have multiple children. With those questions in mind, I'll delve into the Catholic Children's Bibles and Bible Stories we like best of those in our home. My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories Compiled by Hei

12 Quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta

St. Teresa of Calcutta made a deep impression on me as a young girl as I watched her on tv and in news. Who doesn't remember the iconic picture of Mother Teresa with Princess Diana splashed across all magazines, newspapers and news shows?  To me, Saints were people who lived a long time ago, but here she was, a saint in the making.  Mother Teresa was a role model of how to become a Saint in our modern world, by giving her life to God through her dedication to the poor. On her feast day, I want to share with you a few of my favorite quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta.   Her words are seemingly simple and straightforward but packed with meaning.  My selection comes out of a new favorite book I picked up called, Mother Teresa: Her Essential Wisdom by Carol Kelly-Gangi.  This little book contains hundreds of quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta centered around specific themes as well as a summary of her biography and quotes about her from others.  "God does not demand that