by Rev. Nathan King
As hurricane Florence now begins lashing the coastal margins of North and South Carolina, I hope you have/had the luxury of making preparations to stay safe. Theresa and I bought a few groceries in case we lose power. We are fortunate to have a gas stove and could still cook should we lose power. I suppose were it not for the gas stove we would use the gas grill.
Some will have it much worse. Some have had to leave home, evacuate.They are already disconnected from their normal support of friends in their communities. That means being disconnected from some important sources of power. Others live with the uncertainty of how much damage will happen in their area. Will there be flooding? Trees down? How bad will it be? Will we lose electrical power? That would mean the loss of another source of traditional power.
Losing electrical power means we can’t keep going in the same way. Life becomes a little more dangerous in the darkness. Even in daylight hours, inside the house may require some source of light to be safe. So you pull out flashlights and hope you have some source of power for those.
That’s where I was found lacking. I didn’t get to the store in time to get the “D” size batteries for our flashlights (or for the camping fan!). I didn’t get to a NUMBER of stores in time. Apparently, EVERYONE else within 25 miles of me has a switch that flips automatically and takes over their bodies whenever a storm approaches that makes them walk, run, bike, drive, fly, or drone out right away to buy all the “D” size batteries in their immediate area! I don’t have that switch, nor that superpower!
The prospects of being without power can be unnerving. Imagine what it must be like to live without the power and support of one’s friends, or the familiarity of one’s home. What would it be like to be without the traditional powers of being part of the dominant culture? I know it doesn’t feel good to be without power that I’m used to having. So we’ll see what happens when that traditional source of power isn’t working anymore.
My guess is those who do have a source of power will help out those like me who may not have a working flashlight. I’ll share food with those who don’t have power for cooking. We’ll help each other out when nature’s storm hits us. And for years we’ll talk about how good it felt to help each other out. We’ll remember all of us together. We’ll remember that your color didn’t matter, nor your sex or sexual orientation, nor your immigration status. These will not have mattered because on a local level, in the streets and gathering places of our neighborhoods and communities, we will have seen each other as equals in power and in need. And those normally in control will remember how good it felt to not have power for a few days, and those usually without power will remember how good it felt to have a place and an opportunity to be equal in power.
That’s my prayer for what happens during this storm called Florence and in the larger storm many face everyday without power. May we all have power.