I woke on this Fourth of July to the sound of power saws buzzing instead of fireworks as Fort Wayne, my hometown, recovers from a severe storm on June 29th during the midst of a drought banning consumer fireworks. Close to 80,000 were without electricity and less than 19,000 still need to have the lights turned on.
Our house remained undamaged with electricity, so we invited friends, who were staying in a motel, to come stay with us. They didn’t come, because their power was restored quickly, but many people stayed with friends or in shelters for days. Fort Wayners’ acts of kindness and the overtime of workers like electrical linemen continue on Independence Day with flags flying.
Let’s pause for a moment from the cleanup to remember the significance of the 236th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. These words resonate: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
To me the pursuit of happiness involves maintaining a sense of peace. I find going to church helps me with that, so the Sunday after the massive windstorm, I went to the service at my Fort Wayne church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist. When I arrived half of the parking lot was filled with debris from downed trees, but the service proceeded as usual.
The subject of the Christian Science Bible lesson was God. As I listened to the Golden Text from the New King James Version of the Bible, “Now acquaint yourself with Him and be at peace” (Job 22). I prayed God would comfort the thousands without electricity and with storm damage to their homes and property.
The story of Elijah was in the Bible readings. God tells Elijah, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. (I Kings 19).” Within the correlative passages from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy was “God is not the author of mortal discords (page 231).”
As we celebrate the Fourth of July our community is blessed by loving one another, and soon all the lights will be back on!
Happy 4th of July!