A Message from Deans Moore, Stone and Lightsey Regarding Hurricane Harvey's Path

Dear Beloved Community,

The horrors of Hurricane Harvey have gripped all of us as we see the huge destruction of human lives, homes, and health. We know, however, that we have students with close relatives and friends in Houston and Corpus Christi and all across southern Texas, as well as Louisiana, where Tropical Storm Harvey is now headed. We hear news report that change by the hour – at least 16 people dead; more than 13,500 people rescued with expectation of numbers rising at least to 30,000; 25-30% of Harris County (home of Houston) flooded; untold damage to homes that can only be assessed in weeks to come; and oil refineries and other plants compromised and releasing deadly chemicals. We hear and see the deadly destruction of people and land and waterways. This is a human and ecological disaster.

As compassionate people, you are reading these figures and seeing the pictures yourselves. But can you and I even imagine the horrors that people across Southeast Texas are facing as they look out at flood waters, await rescue, and wonder where their loved ones are? Can we imagine what the people of Louisiana are facing and fearing after the devastations of Hurricane Katrina in 2005? Can we imagine the concern that members of our own BU School of Theology community experience as they worry about their loved ones in Texas and Louisiana and as they check in on them and listen to their stories?

We can only glimpse the situation with our conscious and analytic minds. We need to pause, breathe deeply of Spirit, and let the images touch us. We need to pause, breathe deeply, and pray. We need to find a way to act – to support the rescuers and rescued, the displaced families and communities, the emergency teams, the neighbors helping neighbors, the churches and other places of worship that have opened their sacred spaces to house and treat and serve the people.

We cannot fully imagine the horrors, but we can glimpse and feel and act. May God bless your efforts, your feelings, and your actions, and may we all find pathways to respond in our unique ways. The people of Southeast Texas and Louisiana need to know that, even if we cannot fully imagine, we care!   

With prayers of deep concern and fragile hope,

Your Deans – Mary Elizabeth, Pamela, and Bryan