What Texas Is Telling Us About Ourselves

Seeing the images coming out of southeast Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey are harrowing. The dangers these people are facing and the heroism displayed by so many is both sobering and inspiring at the same time.

I read somewhere that someone had said that the violence that took place in Charlottesville is not what this country and her people are really about. Instead, the heroism and the self-sacrifice of so many in Texas is what the people of this country are really about. I concur.

In all of the film and print coverage I’ve seen of this catastrophe, I haven’t seen one example yet of people inquiring about the racial background or political views of those in need of rescuing or of those doing the rescuing. As far as I know, no one has said, “Excuse me, I see that your family is African-American. I’m sorry, we’re not here to rescue you.” As far as I know, no one has said, “Excuse me, I see that you sport a Confederate flag tattoo on your arm. I’m sorry but we have no room for your kind in our boat.”

The only negative comment of which I’m aware is that tweeted by a jerk who is doubtless no where near Texas or involved in the rescue effort. When seeing a photograph of a home where a Confederate flag was flying, he said that he would have torn the flag down and thrown it in the flood waters. Because the destruction of private property and the suppression of free speech the priority when we’re out trying to save people’s lives! But he was the anomaly, and his insistence on continuing to try to divide us in the midst of a cause that united the country stood out for the obtuse idiocy that it was.

What I saw was a black fire fighter carrying two white children through flood waters to safety. I also saw two white rescuers extracting a black truck driver whose truck was almost entirely submerged in flood waters. I also saw people not waiting for the professionals to arrive, but taking it upon themselves to put out in their own boats and vehicles to find and rescue their neighbors and people they had never met. What I saw were people not caring about race or politics or the role of government. They only cared about people and saving lives. What Texas is telling us about ourselves as a country is that we are far more than the identity politics that dominates so much of our news cycle and so much of the tensions that lead to gridlock in Washington. Texas could teach Washington, and the entire country, a good bit about uniting in a common effort to overcome the struggles that face all of us.

If we could hold on to that unity of effort in confronting the real issues that face this country: the slavery of thousands in human trafficking, the slaughter of thousands each year by abortion, the violent deaths of thousands at the hands of gangs and drug cartels, then perhaps we could effectively suppress these horrors and overcome those who would divide and destroy us. It’s worth a hope and a prayer.

Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.

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