by David Taylor
Flood upon flood.
It's been tough. It will continue to be tough. The rain didn't relent, and now the rivers continue to rise. I keep thinking of elementary science and geography lessons about rivers and tributaries. They all come together, the creeks, the rivers, and the bodies of waters they run through.
When torrential rain turns a city street into a river, it floods a creek or lake or river, which then floods more creeks, lakes, and rivers. The dams eventually break. When one dam breaks, that floods the next dam downstream, and so on. Flood upon flood. The rushing water is powerful and impossible to contain.
This has been the story of the past four days in my city, Columbia, SC. We have seen much damage. Lost homes, evacuations, debris, shut-down businesses, impassable roads, and impure water are just a few of our struggles, not to mention repairing the dams.
I have hope, though, much hope.
In the past few days, I have seen another flood, though not one of water. It has been an outpouring of love. Love has brought universities, churches, government agencies, media outlets, city officials, business owners, state leaders, and individuals together.
Today at my church, Shandon Baptist, I witnessed this. Throughout the day, I planned, prayed and worked with fellow staff and church members I already know well, but it was a little different today. I also worked with dozens of USC students I had never seen before, arriving in shifts from a student-led relief effort. I witnessed the AC Flora High School Football team load shuttles with relief items and search for those who needed it. Members of other churches came to help. Individuals and groups from around the city brought donations they knew were needed because WIS and WLTX were retweeting our needs. Newspring sent us a truckload of bottled water within an hour of our request. There were so many hands taking donations, sorting, and giving, I can't keep up with it all. It was chaotic and beautiful what was happening out of our church gym today.
And, this was just the second day. In 9 hours, more trucks will arrive to that gym and so will more volunteers. Friends from Spartanburg, Atlanta, Greenville, and Fort Bragg will be arriving to volunteer and donate. Samaritan's Purse will begin surveying and recruiting. We will continue to figure out what needs to be done and do it. Through people, we will see the love of God pour out from Forest Drive to those in need.
And as the love of God pours out from Forest Drive, it is also pouring out from other places throughout the city. Shandon is one small part of relief efforts. People are sharing and giving and helping from other churches and organizations who are working together. It's incredible that it is all coming together into a common current of love. His love through his people will overcome what seems impossible. No dam can contain God's love. Let it flow.
Flood upon flood.