I Am The Storm

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If you end up fine after this storm,
blessed and thankful,
good.

Then sit.
Enjoy it.
Pray.
Call friends and family.
Let them know you’re okay.
Do what you can.

And if you’re watching
completely on the outside, 
do the same.

Stay away from the rains
and watch them level out.
See the streets go from streets to rivers
and back to streets again. 
Let it pass.

But don’t get too comfortable.

Because after the waters and winds end,
and the lightning and levees settle,
there is more unsettling news.
The storm won’t be over.

For the real storm is just beginning.

The storm after the storm.
One of devastation this area and
hardly any other has experienced.

The remnants of houses washed out to the attics.
Local parks turned into overgrown ponds.
Yards that became lost addresses under a dislocated river.
Damage beyond damage.

And then there’s the people.

Lives like your’s and mine.
With breath like your’s and mine.
Eyes with a glimpse of Who we came from like your’s and mine.
Who are already confused and dismantled,
without anything or everything they own,
physically and mentally broken,
spiritually perplexed and drained.

A handful,
a few,
hundreds,
thousands,
maybe hundreds of thousands,
all summarized in the same way:

IN. NEED.

They need you.
They need me.
They need prayer.
They need compassion.
And they definitely need action.

Sure, 
it’ll be a flurry of disorganization and destruction.
A gust of panic and pain.
A rumble of uncertainty with how to help.
A torrential downpour of neighbors in need.

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But it’s time.
Time to rise from the rains that had you boxed in.
Time to step out from the monster that kept you in hiding.
Time to be someone.

There can be no
going back to normal life
once the waters subside.
No living as if this is a past event
once the skies clear up for you
and they don’t for someone else.
No keeping this as
just another story to tell
your grandkids of how
you ended up “safe”
while so many were anything but.

Time to leave your comfort,
listen closely to the
thunder of crying voices approaching, 
and walk.

Right toward the storm.

Lightning is guaranteed
to strike.

But then again, 
so are you.