The floodwaters rose. Destruction in their wake. Countless lives were changed in a matter of hours. Homes decimated. Livelihoods lost. An entire city was brought to its knees in the aftermath of the flood. Nashville was laid low.
Then we stood up.
Nashville looked around, examined the overwhelming damage with humbled clarity, and it got to work. There was none of the “waiting around” for help, though blessedly, help did come. No, we saw the great needs of the city and its people, and we did what we always do: we helped, we sacrificed, we served, we prayed, we cried, we laughed, hugged, gave, and got back to the business of living.
Nashville could have stayed down. We could have felt sorry for ourselves and spent countless hours hoping the world around us would see our need and come to our rescue. But, what’s the point of all that waiting when we could just put on our shoes and handle those needs ourselves? Why would we hope for a knight in shining armor when we have a city full of knights and heroes? A city full of doers and helpers?
Nashville stands strong after the flood. We rebuilt and made the city brighter and more beautiful than ever before.
The hellish winds raged. Decimation in their wake. Countless lives were forever altered in the middle of the night. Neighborhoods destroyed. Schools shattered and broken. An entire region was brought to its knees in the aftermath of the storm. Nashville and much of Middle Tennessee was laid low.
Then we stood up.
We got to our feet, assessed the gut-wrenching carnage, and started working. No waiting or hoping for someone to handle things for us. No, we took in the unfathomable swath of devastation and we did what we always do: we worked, we mourned, we rejoiced, we interceded, we wept, we embraced, and we volunteered. Churches opened their doors and their hearts, ministering to the needs of the people. Businesses fed and took care of everyone they could. Those untouched by the storm thanked God for His protection and then gave of themselves to those less fortunate.
We could have stayed down but that’s not our way. We are, after all, the Volunteer State. It’s what we do. No whining. No self-pity. We take the hand we have been dealt and we make it work. It’s messy, chaotic, beautiful, and inspiring.
This storm will not define us. What we do right now will be credited to our lasting legacy. It will be a legacy of selflessness and giving. Of hard work and acts of kindness and love. Waters rise. Storms rage. The unspeakable happens. We brush off the rubble, say a prayer, and we stand up.