Last night as I checked into the news of the day and saw the devastation that took the entire half-hour of the NBC Nightly News, I knew I ought to focus my words this morning on the terrible event that has been Hurricane Harvey. Ironically, Alan Cohen provided the words – from his book published in 1996! (Finding that publication date answered my question of why his entry for today in A Deep Breath of Life didn’t include the 9/11 attacks.) In his mention of Hurricane Iniki in Hawaii in 1992, the San Francisco earthquake of 1989 and even the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival in 1969 (because of the unexpected “invasion” of 500,000 people overnight in this small town), Cohen does not focus on the damage and distress but rather on the heroic efforts of so many people during and after those events. While not diminishing the unexpected devastation of people’s lives, he says the following:
Many heroes who would otherwise have remained anonymous came to the fore…No event is entirely negative. Sometimes a hell can set the stage for an unexpected heaven.
My presumption is that we will see (or have already seen) the same kind of outpouring of generosity this week. I add my intention to Cohen’s today as he prays, Show me how to find the light in the darkness. Help me be a light to others. May it be so with us.