On this day, Sept. 21, in 1989 Hurricane Hugo paid a call to the Lowcountry. He was not a gentleman and left twenty-seven souls dead in South Carolina, nearly 100,000 homeless, and somewhere around $10 billion in damages. I remember as if it were yesterday and as one of the most frightening experiences of my life. The storm came on a Thursday and over the next few days we crawled out of homes to survey damages. We adapted to no electricity or running water. On Sunday, I gathered with members and friends of St. Paul's , Summerville where I was serving as an Assistant to the Rector. No electricity in the Church building but plenty of power abounded. We were thankful to have survived, in prayer for those who had suffered loss, and holding on to each other. Every year I am struck by the Collect of the Day which followed on Sunday the 24th of September. It reads
Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
This was not our home but the scene was similar. Trees down everywhere - snapped off about twenty feet up. The landscape and homes trashed. Two 90 pine trees came down into our house. Not as bad as McClellanville and environs where the big surge tide came through but bad enough to never forget!
May we never need a Hugo to remind us to love things heavenly and to hold fast to those that shall endure.