I definitely felt your prayers last night.
Most of my beloved Orlando is in immediate despair. Our landscape, like the rest of Florida, changed last night for good. Our numerous lakes and majestic oaks fell victim, plunging much of downtown into darkness. We are a city of swelling lakes and the crashing of oaks. The beauties in this city that we prize just couldn’t protect us from the storm, but instead, were used against us.
But, I definitely felt your prayers last night.
The news said that the worst part of the storm was going to be between 8pm and 4am. (As you know, this storm was ((and is!)) still crawling). That was going to be when we needed to hit the safe room and tuck in for the night, wait for the power to go out, sleep, then figure everything out later once the storm clears.
By 10pm the power hadn’t gone out so I had dinner and crawled into the safe room and went to bed. Our safe room had one window that was small enough to cover with my single mattress. We pulled Phillip’s mattress in to sleep on. It was a safe place, so I went right to sleep. And in a weird way, one of the best couple of hours of sleep I’ve had in a while).
I woke at 5 this morning and found the electric was still on, so I made coffee, just incase the worst was still on it’s way. By 7am dawn was coloring the sky with a luminescent grey and I could see the rest of the neighborhood. No downed trees, no flooding. The friendly Spanish widow across the street waved to me as she looked around her property. We didn’t have internet, so I couldn’t get online to see what was happening so I assumed Orlando had dodged a bullet. However, I busted out my little battery powered radio and started hearing stories about what was happening only 3 or 4 blocks away. So much of this town was in serious trouble.
I called George to see how he was. He lives just down the street. He’s without power, and the wetland park next to his house is a disaster, he says. We offered him refuge right away should he want it. Charge his phone, take a shower, cook some food, watch a movie, hang out with friends. “Come by any time you need to. Day or night. We’ll leave the light on for you!”
“I think I will! I’m gonna need to cook all this food so it don’t go to waste!”
He wasn’t the only one we reached out to. We wanted to make sure anyone local in our contacts got a call. If they don’t have power, they were offered a place of refuge. Come, please, if you need some help. Life on this little property is as it was before the storm arrived. (Funny. Honeychurch might actually function as a church for a minute….)
So, your prayers mattered. And they still do! As you can see, Phillip and I are just fine. Praying for us blessed us with the things we can use to assist others, if they need to stop by and take us up on our offer. You protected us and shielded us. I can’t think of a more magical gift than God sparing you of suffering so that you may assist others with theirs.
Now, go work your magic again, everyone. Pray for my little city tonight.