I am going to presume for a moment that this scene played out in church sanctuaries all across Texas — and, indeed, the nation — earlier today.
We attended church this morning at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Amarillo, Texas. The senior pastor, the Rev. Howard Griffin, was presiding over a combined service; First Pres normally has three services each Sunday, but on this Labor Day weekend, the entire congregation gathered for a single service.
The gorgeous First Pres sanctuary was full.
The pastor announced that all the proceeds from this morning’s offering was going to aid a church — First Presbyterian Church of Houston — in its efforts to help the victims of that monstrous hurricane-turned-tropical storm that deluged the Gulf Coast region. The video we watched while sitting in our church pews was heart-wrenching; the devastation along the coast — from Corpus Christi to the Golden Triangle — takes one’s breath away.
Griffin said previous efforts to aid other disaster victims have brought hefty five-figure amounts when the plates get passed throughout the congregation. I am quite certain many of our fellow congregants dug a little deeper this morning to assist their fellow Texans in this time of desperation and despair.
I am also going to suggest that this act of generosity, compassion and godly spirit occurred all across this great nation in houses of worship of all faiths and all great religions.
That’s what we do as Americans. We offer our treasure to those in trouble.
I am one American who this morning was proud to play a small part in what I am certain was a gigantic act of compassion.
Meanwhile, our prayers continue to flow down yonder.