It’s Saturday. I sit here amidst a pine and cork forest a little bit annoyed because the neighbor is using a chainsaw and it’s forbidden in this urbanization on weekends. The atmosphere is supposed to be quiet. The urbanization is serene and stunning sitting in the foothills of the mountain range which is situated on the northeastern boundary of the urbanization with the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Houses here cost multimillions of euros. At the villa I’m taking care of, there’s a wedding going on today and the mood is quite high.
People are coming and going. There’s photographers and caterers and bands warming up. The people here seem to have no idea what’s happening on the other side of the world. Why should they? It’s time for celebrating.
I, on the other hand, am in quite a melancholy mood. There’s a strong wind and it has become overcast, which equals my state of mind. I can’t seem to get my head around the past week and the events that have taken place in Texas, Mexico and the Caribbean.
It was hard enough to see the fallout from Hurricane Harvey, let alone to think there would be three more hurricanes coming behind it. The intensity of the winds and the devastation they have had on the Caribbean Islands is unimaginable and I feel for all of the life on the islands from the people right down to the insects.
I can’t seem to pull myself away from watching footage online of Hurricane Irma. And the aftermath looks like destruction from a bomb. In fact, I think if my name was Irma, I would be changing it. Some of the islands that were hit were full of extravagant things and were playgrounds for the rich, with their fancy houses, cars and boats. Many have now become rubble. The images are harrowing. I saw a photo of a giant black catamaran turned upside down and carried down shore only to land on a yellow house much smaller in size, crushing it.
In other scenes, onlookers, the locals who became homeless overnight, look in shock and in a daze. On islands like Saint Martin and Barbuda, where 95% of the islands were reduced to rubble, there is no respite, and it seems, nowhere to hide. Hurricane Jose approaches. This hurricane has began to spin away from this stretch of the Caribbean and it does not appear that these islands pummeled by Hurricane Irma will take a direct hit. For me, this is an answer to prayer.
Many of the islands have had to undergo curfews, as wicked gangs are tearing into homes with machetes taking whatever they so desire. They are despicable, brutal souls. They bring sorrow upon sorrow.
One bittersweet story leaves me speechless, and extremely thankful for what I have. A family in Barbuda cuddled together in a room in their home. In the eye of the storm, their roof disassembled and blew away, one piece at a time. The ocean began to deluge their home in mass force, sweeping away their two sons, one aged 4 and one aged 2.
This family was amongst the few who suffered more than physical losses. While over time they can rebuild their home, they cannot bring back to life their 2-year-old son whose body was found the next morning. The bright side of this very sad story is that they were reunited with their 4-year-old upon landing in Antigua after being rescued from Barbuda.
As Hurricane Irma approaches the Florida Keys, regaining its strength, silly stories emerge. Certain locals believe that by firing bullets into the sky, they will dissipate the storm. They say nothing is going to force them from their homes. Time will tell us how wrong they are.
Irma will probably go down on record as the hurricane of all hurricanes. Her storm system is wider than the state of Florida. Her wind speeds exceed 180 miles per hour.
As I watch the horrific footage of the victims all over the Caribbean Islands from Irma just passed, with buildings down, yachts on top of each other, flooding, locals with nowhere to turn, how are they eating? What are they drinking? What will they do when the storm surges come? Why are there no shelters for them? Is anyone coming to rescue them or set up camps?
Just outside my gate, two apparently abandoned greyhounds looking frightfully thin trotting along. I cannot now find them, but I have left some food and water outside the gate in hopes they return to it. My thoughts instantly turn to the Caribbean. What about the pets and the other animals? How will they eat? When their bodies are left floating in the flood waters and their bodies decay and carry disease, what will happen? How long will it be before the people can return to their islands? I feel unsettled having to wait for the answers!
Where do you begin the clean-up and restoration? How many months will go by before the people are forgotten by the rest of the world, yet they will try to restore a daily regime? More devastation will come for the Caribbean people, because there will be no paradise for tourists to visit, and this will certainly have an impact on their economy, delaying the restoration of their lives.
I like my car a little better, and I rejoice as I lay upon my bed in my casita. The ants on my counter that constantly appear from nowhere don’t annoy me quite the same. My dying orchids with their petals dropping don’t grieve me the same.
The dreadful hurricanes, the death, disease and destruction they bring have impacted me from the Caribbean, all the way over to Europe. Not just the hurricanes, either, have affected me but the major earthquake in Mexico as well as the threat of tsunamis from Mexico down to Costa Rica. I must stop a couple of times each hour just to pray and find my peace.
Because I can’t see if my prayers are actually being heard or helping anyone, I feel a bit empty. Hollow. Helpless. I would jump on a plane and go help the people if only I could escape my own responsibilities. The people not only need my prayers, they need resources, time, housing. But believe me, I pray the resources come, and I will be looking for a reputable charity to donate.
But there is something more I need. I realize through this seemingly unending whirlwind of deadly hurricanes that I need more faith. Doesn’t everyone want to know, can any good come from so much bad?
What I am learning right this moment is crucial. I must remember, and so I remind you, that this life on earth is temporary. Bad things happen, because a bad spirit rules the planet. It has nothing to do with climate change. The earth births things like hurricanes and earthquakes because it has already been destroyed.
If man’s nature wasn’t so sinful, the earth would not have been destroyed long ago by a flood. If humanity, in general, had any goodness, the people suffering right now would have stood on equal footing even before the hurricanes came and would have had equal chances of escape, recovery and sustenance .
Instead, humanity is corrupt.
God is not idle, cruel or blind. He promises He will make everything beautiful in time. He will right every wrong, be it destruction from the hand of man or the “hand of God.” He will wipe away EVERY tear. God is good, and His goodness surrounds us. In fact, we take His goodness for granted. We expect life to only and always be good. When it isn’t we aren’t prepared.
Be reminded, life is futile. That is, life here on earth. But this earth is not really my home. A hurricane has just reminded me. Every living thing my eyes see will die physically. That truth is hard to swallow. This side of paradise is our prepping ground. We are pilgrims on a journey. We are built with a spirit eternal to live in an eternal paradise, which will one day come. In case you hadn’t heart, it isn’t in the Caribbean.
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…