Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Flood of Music

The groundhog was drenched and huddled on a broken piece of lumber that was wedged in some sticks on the edge of the flood driven waterfall. The poor creature shivered, its soaked matted hair dripping. It clung to the small plank, with no escape. I watched this footage of the Owego Flood on a youtube video. Then the scene switched to nearby railroad tracks, which were as far as the flood waters rose. The groundhog stood somewhat dazed, but alive, on the tracks.
"We saved this little guy, " said the caption, on the video.

"How's the flood patrol?" I texted my brother, who was still ensconced in his flood zone home. It would still be a month before his family would be able to return, but he would not leave it to be robbed or violated any further than the flood itself had done.
"Great! We have heat, water, and electricity now!"
"And I got three Stakmore tables!"
"How many people did you have to kill?"
"None! I just sweet talked the nice lady at the Stakmore factory. Christmas came early to Owego!"
"Did you get enough chairs for them all?"
"No...  :( "
"Well, I suspect with residents returning your prime looting days are over."
"Yeh, probably. You know, truth be told, we made out like bandits on this flood."
"Yeh, if it weren't for that $100,000 deductible on your flood insurance...."
"Well, it's only money.  We can make more of that. You know it is the love of money that is the root of all evil...not just having money."
"So I've heard...I wouldn't know from personal experience."

I thought of the video John had sent me. His son, Greg and he had gone wandering the flood receding streets, where piles of belongings were strewn on every curb. Then he passed a piano. John stopped as Greg filmed. John began playing simple tunes on the water damaged piano, battered and ruined, dumped on the street of the flooded city. It didn't sound as awful as you might think. In fact, it was a victorious melody, of sorts. A car slowed, stopped, and honked, waving a fist. The video closed with John laughing, and waving at his new comrade, forged in the wake of disaster.

Those two images kept popping up in my head all day- the shivering groundhog clinging to a plank while water raged around him, and my brother playing the ruined piano. I wondered how the groundhog had been saved. The water was rushing violently around him, on the edge of a waterfall. I can't imagine he was saved without some risk to his savior. I think Salvation always involves danger, and suffering for the Savior. It must have seemed  like pretty grim chances of survival to the groundhog.  As soon as he dried out, lifted miraculously from the flood, he would have two choices. He could cry out in anger to the world that had so suddenly shifted beneath him and allowed a flood to carry him so far from his comfortable place...or he could play a metaphorical piano, lifting a melody of comfort and gratitude to a species not accustomed to music in a flood.
Psalm 6 : 1-9
 1 LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger
   or discipline me in your wrath.
2 Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint;
   heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony.
3 My soul is in deep anguish.
   How long, LORD, how long?
 4 Turn, LORD, and deliver me;
   save me because of your unfailing love.
5 Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
   Who praises you from the grave?
 6 I am worn out from my groaning.
   All night long I flood my bed with weeping
   and drench my couch with tears.
7 My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
   they fail because of all my foes.
 8 Away from me, all you who do evil,
   for the LORD has heard my weeping.
9 The LORD has heard my cry for mercy;
   the LORD accepts my prayer.

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