Harvey has just rendered the south-central coast sopping, mopping wet. A pitiful picture I saw showed two older ladies in what seemed to be their house, sitting in easy chairs with water up to their waists. We prayed and continue to pray for those in need.

Now Irma is poised to pounce on Puerto Rico. I have friends with connections in Puerto Rico. I’ve been there. They call it La Isla del Encanto, the Enchanted Island. Antigua and Barbuda, well versed in storm survival, came through amazingly well, thanks be to God. We’ll have to see about Puerto Rico.

It is an enchanted island. Linked by popular demand to the United States but refusing statehood, it sits in the Caribbean like a happy step-child. It produces a constant flow of people back and forth, but mainly forth (most Puerto Ricans live on the continent.) The Dominican Republic is their source of cheap labor and the place they love to hate. Like a banty rooster with a US sized chip on its shoulder, Puerto Rico, with its quirky dialect of Spanish, tend to send people who do well when they come to the continent. The moniker fits.

But there will be those for whom the enchantment won’t show up. As Florida is hunkering down they will be emerging after the passing of the storm. They will lose homes. They will suffer loss. They may suffer injury. We pray for them.

Let us pray also that we do not pray only for our own, but for all who face this challenge, and for ourselves who face the challenges of provincialism, small-mindedness, egocentrism and stinginess of soul. Irma should open us up, not shut us down.


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