Hey, God needs a day off.

Back on Monday, August 3, the media and weather forecasters had everyone along the East coast whipped into a frenzy over tropical storm/hurricane Isaias.

That day, I spent quite a few hours at Trinity checking out drains on roofs, window wells, and landings of exterior stairwells.

Mixed in that work, I kept wondering about our basement at home. I wondered if I should go purchase a new marine battery that served as the backup for our sump pump in case the storm knocked out power in our neighborhood.

Our neighborhood with its large, senior citizen trees is notorious for losing power even on non-stormy days.

Eventually, I decided to gamble on the five year old marine battery. By dinner time, some early rain bans were hitting us, and there was an occasional wind gust rustling through the trees. 

Our new one year old drainage system in the basement was working. Water was draining into the sump pump well, and the pump was dumping it out with consistency.

At bedtime, radar showed lots of rain still coming toward us, but there was some hint that Isaias could stray a bit more toward the East. If that happened, we might be less exposed to wind.

I don’t know how much I slept, but I was up early. We still had power, and yes, thank goodness the basement was dry.

A bit after 6:30, I received a text from the superintendent in charge of a renovation project at Trinity. He and his crew were planning to work, so I left the house to open the building for them. 

On Monday, we had decided to cancel our Zoom staff meeting for Tuesday, and told our personnel who had been coming into the building to stay home.

The only good thing about Isaias was its forward speed. It was moving up the coastline quickly. But, just before the storm made landfall near Ocean Isle, North Carolina it had increased in strength becoming a Category I hurricane with 85 mph winds.

That surge in energy allowed Isaias to wreak havoc for anything in its path. Just ask residents of Oak Island, North Carolina and communities where the storm spawned tornadoes.  Even my mother-in-law in West Hartford, Connecticut  was impacted. The retirement community where she resides lost power until late Friday afternoon.

But, after all, it is summer. 

I have lived in North Carolina and Virginia my entire life. Summer means heat, humidity, high dew points, mean thunderstorms, stretches of scorching heat with no rain, and hurricanes to keep us honest with God.

Now all of that is enough to make a person weary. But, toss in the mess we are in with COVID-19 and all the things related and not related to the virus, and we have another storm.

By 9:30 on Tuesday morning, sunlight and blue sky were starting to appear. I knew the kind folks over at the Sherbourne Food Pantry were counting on our delivery.

I went back to Trinity and decided to see if the bed of the church pick-up truck was full of water. It wasn’t, but as I was checking the truck, I took note of all the extra cars parked in the Rock Creek Road parking lot. These were cars of people from the neighborhood. They had parked their cars over night to keep them safe from trees that might have decided to topple.

I drove the pickup to the front of the Welcome Center and started loading up the 42 bags of groceries. I also had 100 frozen burritos to deliver courtesy of a Trinity member who has started a business making these.

Loaded pick up ready for Sherbourne by Bill Pike

The drive over was uneventful.

When I arrived at Sherbourne, I sensed a bit of weariness. Turns out Isaias had left a parting gift to the church—four inches of water in the old basement.

A Tuesday summer morning at Sherbourne UMC by Bill Pike

Dedicated members of the Sherbourne team had used their skills along with shop vacs, mops, and fans to clear out the unwanted guest. With that behind them, they were accepting and starting to organize the food for the clients that would be there on Wednesday for pick up.

A Sherbourne member asked how Trinity had fared from the storm, and I told him we were lucky—we had no problems.

I wonder what a problem free day in our world would look like?

We have become so accustomed to things going wrong, I’m not sure we would recognize a problem free day.

But, I’ll tell you who deserves a day with no problems and no troubles—God.

I wonder what he would do with a real day off?

A summer morning by Bill Pike

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