In the eye of a hurricane
There is quiet
For just a moment….
~ From “Hurricane” by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
I’ve listened to the Hamilton soundtrack 317,256 times, give or take. I love it. For its story and history, of course, but more so for the madness and brilliance of Lin-Manuel Miranda. Smart (although at times explicit) lyrics companioned with incredible music – hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway – bring me to tears in places, which is saying something. I’m not an easy crier.
My friend Monica has listened a million times, too. For their anniversary, her husband scurried her off to New York, and between that and a surprise pair of tickets to Hamilton he won the Husband of the Year Award (congratulations, Derek).
During a conversation about her visit we discovered we both do the same thing: instantly think about Hamilton when we hear a word or phrase in everyday conversation that includes a snippet of lyrics. I wish I could remember what the reference was when we were with a group of friends and someone unknowingly said a line from one of the songs. We looked at each other, both repeated it, and grinned. “Wait for it…”? “Rise up”? “I’m not throwing away my shot”? Who knows? I just sure we had a moment.
There’s a song called “Hurricane” in Act II of the musical, referring to both a hurricane Hamilton literally survived, and also figuratively to a life storm he faces. When Harvey punched Texas in the face a few weeks ago, and now with Irma crashing through the Caribbean and bullying her way straight up Florida toward me – three hours from any coast for heaven’s sake – this song keeps ringing in my ears.
This morning in church our pastor talked about storms and what they reveal about God and/or man. Tim knew Irma was on everyone’s mind and we likely had evacuee visitors (we did). Our church has already been reaching out to those affected by Harvey, but with this one hitting closer to home – we have five evacuation centers in our area (and an extra one for pets) – it’s personally relevant.
He threaded together stories of people in the bible who faced storms…Noah, Jonah, wise and foolish men, even Jesus and his disciples…but it was a beautiful passage from Psalms that gave me the most encouragement today, Psalm 57:1.
If you find yourself squaring off against Irma (or Harvey), or facing any kind of life storm (both can level you, can’t they?) I hope you’ll find life and encouragement in these words, too:
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.
My thoughts and prayers are with you, the millions of neighbors affected by these storms. My greatest hope is that you will see the goodness and glory of God in the days to come.