We recently made a trip to Puerto Rico and I was very impressed with the people and the atmosphere of the island. In Post Maria, Puerto Rico, there were still abundant signs of destruction even six months later. But the repairs in place and the work being done were downright heroic. I remember similar scars left by the ravaging random winds of tornados when we lived in Oklahoma. But we humans are a resilient species, not just muddling thru the ravages of natural disaster but rising above the chaos and improving on our former condition whenever possible.
What I learned from the People we met was the model of perseverance. Like our innkeeper who lived thru the hurricane on the second floor of her hotel because the first floor had flooded and the third floor was damaged when the roof tiles blew off. Or our waitress who described the howling winds and pounding rains as she an her mother rode out the storm just a few blocks from the beach. We ate lunches and dinners at kitchens setup in tents by the beach or the roadside and in ocean front restaurants which had been flooded. We met people who lived with spotty electricity from generators that could only be run a few hours a day. We heard stories of having to decide what to do with the last liter of water, “do I drink it now or keep it for tomorrow?”
We visited the historical sites there, learned the history of the island and people who made Puerto Rico what it is today. It was then I realized that the faith and resilience we saw in the Puerto Rican people was an innate sense of destiny and love of freedom created in their collective memory. The suffering and trials they experienced thru conquest, slavery, war and the regular patterns of horrific storms steeled their constitutions to rise up yet again and overcome. They showed me a microcosim of mankind’s greatest attributes and renewed my faith that we will overcome no matter what nature or others can throw at us.
This desire to find the good and make it so in our world goes back to the Garden where the troubles began but also where the goodness Papa declared over us was spoken forth as prophecy, that man would eventually get it right. In fact He sent Jesus to show us what that actually looks like when lived out to the fullest extent. So, for me as in all things, I join Jacob and bend my knee to worship the One who alone is worthy of all praise Who will also work out all things to His glory.