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If Today You Hear His Voice …

Little did I realize how easily and potently I would hear the voice of God as I sat on my brother’s back porch and experienced the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Located on a beach in North Carolina, this area is a place of awesome beauty. During hurricane season, it is also one of unbelievable worry and anxiety.


Once Irene left the area, the silence was deafening. The sun came out and the dazzling beauty of nature returned. Most of the large plants and flowering bushes, as well as a few long-stemmed yellow roses, made it through ─ signs that all would be well. The seawall did buckle and the driveway was washed out. Trees and gardens were uprooted, but no one was hurt. It was a good twenty-four hours before birds returned and filled the air with song.


It is so easy to see traces of the paschal mystery in nature. Gratitude to God was on our lips. We spoke of how gardens and trees come back or can be replaced, but the physical safety of all and a dry, intact house were the ultimate gifts.
In the days that followed, we visited neighbors and saw many who did not fare as well as we did. Many had floors, furniture, and rugs out on the curbs; house foundations had been cracked; life’s work and savings were gone. Repeatedly, we heard comments such as, “Could have been worse, you should have seen us after Isabel in ’03,” or, “Look at these Southern Baptist and Mormon men’s volunteer groups who came from other parts of the country to help clean up the mess and fix what can be fixed. Aren’t we the lucky ones?” Voices of gratitude were heard more loudly and often than those of lament and self-pity.


It was so clear to me that in this experience of Hurricane Irene these good people of all denominations of faith connected what was happening to what they believed. They indeed heard God’s voice and enabled me to do the same.

Sister Honora is the Director of Pastoral Services at RENEW and a Dominican Sister of Amityville, NY.


(Photo Courtesy of ABC News)

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One Response to “If Today You Hear His Voice …”

  1. Thanks for the interesting article!

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