Back to our regularly scheduled program

Published 5:40 pm Tuesday, September 12, 2017

I’m sure many of you remember when we would get reports on out-of-the-ordinary events and, after a little reporting, some announcer would say, “Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.”

  These past few days and weeks, our regularly scheduled programming has been cast to the side and we have had, rightfully so, 24 hour coverage of these weather events that have consumed our section of the nation. First there was Harvey in Houston and, just this past week, Hurricane Irma, for which we received 24/7 coverage.

  I’m just like you, I appreciated knowing what was going on with this monster hurricane. I thought about many things, but here are a few thoughts that came to my mind.

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 First of all, I thought of the name. Just as I had written about Harvey and how I thought about the Jimmy Stewart imagined character, I remembered a sweet little lady who was a member of the same church that I went to as a boy.

Miss Irma was always a widow to me. Her husband had died before I was born. Miss Irma probably didn’t weigh a hundred pounds and had an infectious laugh. With irony in mind, Miss Irma was about as far away from a hurricane as one could think.

I also found another thing slightly humorous about Hurricane Irma. I say “slightly” humorous because there was nothing funny about Irma as we heard of her coming our way, nor was the devastation of Irma funny in those places that were destroyed and lives were lost.

This past Thursday night, we were meeting at my Mitchell County church and praying for Florida and the other areas. A very faithful lady spoke up. “I know that God can turn that hurricane anyway He wants.”

On that night last week, the path of Irma was thought to be the east coast of Florida. It was large enough to impact the entire state, but the west coast of Florida and southwest Georgia were expected to be minimally affected. Our group was concerned for all who would be affected, but not overly anxious about our area.

Again, the faithful woman was adamant. “God is going to turn that hurricane to the east and it may even go so far east as to not impact any area too much.” I agreed with her and all of us prayed that God would turn Irma away from doing the damage that had been projected.

Then, we got the report that the direction was changing, BUT, changing to head directly into our area. When I saw the lady Sunday morning, I welcomed her and we laughed about God’s sense of humor and the way He did not listen to us!

As it turned out, God did listen to us. I had three families in my immediate family that were in Florida. My sister lives in Sarasota just about where Irma made landfall. I have two nephews and their families; one in Tampa and another in Jacksonville. All three members came through the storm with their lives and properties still intact. Prayers answered.

Then, more closely, were our town and surrounding areas. I know of one family whose house was damaged and I’m sure there were more. For Donna and me, there are plenty of sticks and limbs to pick up, but that’s about it. We’ll get the yard cleaned up and all the other stuff moved back, but at the end of the day, we’re safe. More prayers answered.

I have one more prayer. Maybe now, we can all return to our regularly scheduled lives and be blessed.