Whatever you want to call it, it exists and Ben and I were extremely blessed this week. Our hearts go out to those affected directly by the floods, it's hard watching the news and seeing houses float away, people stranded on their roofs and seeing the death toll number at the bottom of the screen slowly rise. This is our back yard, literally. It's a sense of relief and a sense of unfairness as we wonder why we were not affected at all while others lost members of their family. Why do we still have power? Why do we still have water? Why do people 5 kilometers away from us have neither?
Why are we here?
|View of one of many river-cab stations that broke apart and floated down the river.|
I walked home in the pouring rain on Wednesday after work was evacuated...watching as men in 3-piece business suits sprinted to wherever they were going, watched as people abandoned their cars for fear they could not get out of the city in time, watched as panic wavered in the eyes of everyone, not sure what to do. I walked home, grateful we were on the 12th floor, grateful for Ben, and grateful to look over our bridge and see traffic slowly moving away and finally clearing...grateful for all these things after I had just been so angry that my umbrella had broken on the way into work that morning, what's the point of letting the little things bother us? We watched and we waited.
|Previous view of our river-walk with water 2+ meters below. You can now see where the water level is via the lamp-post and the walk-way.|
We live in the Central Business District, or CBD, directly on the river. We were told our power would be out, our floors would be flooded, our possessions lost...we spent hours in line at the grocery store, preparing for the worst, hoping for the best, filling up water-bottles, distributing sand-bags in the community, trying to do our best to not fall victim to the panic that edged on everyone. Dams were overloading and breaking up north, and high-tide was coming in from the ocean at approximately the same exact time, there was nothing anyone could do about it. We wouldn't have the flash floods as they tragically had in Toowoomba with their inland tsunami, we would watch as our downtown slowly went under. It was eerily like scenes from the movie 'Titanic' as people on high ground didn't realize the water had come into our tunnels, into our basement garages already. If they couldn't see it, it didn't seem to be happening. It wasn't raining, in fact, it was a bright sunny day, the first we've had since arriving two months ago. It wasn't until water came out of the drains, out of the parking garages that people realized it would be a major problem.
We watched and we waited and saw the water come up to our river walk, then cover it complete, then creep up to businesses on the river, then cover them completely .
We just watched, there would be nothing we could do until after it was over. We waited for it to reach us. We watched literally as the river rose to the west, as water crept from the north and the south, as land went under and buildings were evacuated, leaving people to survive in community centers on higher ground. Then it was over.
There are approximately 100 meters of dry ground along the river today, our building rests exactly in this spot. Absolutely nothing happened to us. The buildings directly next to ours were flooded and evacuated. Sewers broke and rose into basements, garages, streets...yet we still can take a shower, do laundry, drink from the tap. We were so very favored during this time and I thank you all for the prayers. We're not naive enough to say it was science or it was a fluke, we know where our protection comes from and we do give God the glory and credit for our safe-keeping. 119,000 people without power in the CBD and not only do we have power, we also have the internet, we have television, we have hot water.
|Some shots from the CBD the next morning|
I think back to all the times He's kept me safe...I know I haven't done anything different, I know it's always been His protection. (just read the previous link about Israel). There is no reason to fear anything when you know you're truly being looked after. There is no place we cannot go if called, there is no person or group we should be afraid of, ever. I ask for your continued prayers in the coming days as the clean-up will take weeks, if not years and those with lost loved ones, lost pets, lost homes, lost lives...they will need your prayers now and forever. Let this be a lesson to remember to give God the glory for your safety, for your job, for your family...be grateful for the big picture.
|Ben working hard to help with the sand-bags|
|The building right next to us.|