Saturday, October 8, 2016

Hymns for a Hurricane

Even though we have been spared a major hurricane coming ashore, I still can't put the hurricane coverage behind me.  I've been amazed to realize how many people I know up the coast from me:  friends in Port St. Lucie, Jacksonville, and across the Charleston area--and further up the coast, Myrtle Beach, the Outer Banks, and the DelMarVa area. 

Just by coincidence, I'm drinking my coffee in a cracked mug that came from  the Salty Dog Café that I got during a wonderful Hilton Head vacation in 2010.  I know that storm surge has become the major risk from this storm, and I'm wondering how those barrier islands will be transformed. 

Maybe as the day progresses, we'll realize that they've been lucky too.  And even if they haven't, no one in the U.S. will suffer the way that Haiti will suffer.  I've given this information before, but it bears repeating.  For those of you who want to contribute something to alleviate suffering, I recommend Lutheran World Relief--they've been in Haiti for decades now, and they'll stay there for decades to come, alas.  They also have a great record of actually using the money for relief instead of for staffing administrators in offices back in the U.S.  Go here to make a donation.

My favorite memory from Thursday is my spouse who played his violin on the front porch for over an hour.  The porch has always had good acoustics, but with everything moved off of it, the acoustics went from good to great.

He played a variety of songs, from "Singing in the Rain," "Keep on the Sunny Side," and "You Are My Sunshine" to a variety of hymns, like "Blessed Assurance":  the storm/rain medley.

I wondered if people heard the strains of the violin, if they smiled, if it brought comfort.  It did to me.
In fact, my coping technique throughout the lead up to the storm was to "sing" through the night. For much of the week, I found myself waking up between midnight and 2 a.m. wondering what the 11 p.m. update held for us.  I had trouble staying focused enough to pray, but if I focused on singing silently, I could soothe myself and eventually, after a very long time, fall back asleep.
There are many benefits to being a member of a group that sings, and here's one that's seldom talked about:  I have these songs memorized.  I can pull them up, even when the power is down, even in the deep of night when I don't want to wake anyone else up.

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