Maui is on my mind.
I packed a big stack of books for our recent family vacation. I happened to be reading one of them, The Light Pirate by Lily Brooks-Dalton, when I first heard the news about the devastating wildfires wreaking havoc across the Hawai’ian island of Maui.
The Light Pirate takes place in the not-too-distant future, during a time when climate change has contributed to dangerous weather patterns that cause the collapse of vital infrastructure in parts of the United States. While it is a work of fiction, and not set in Hawai’i, I couldn’t help but be aware of how realistic some of the scenarios in the story were, especially when I would take a break from reading the book to check in on the news from Maui.
The scenes unfolding in the news were reminiscent of a dystopian novel not unlike the one I was reading. And yet, they were real. They ARE real. Lord, have mercy upon us.
The death toll has now risen to more than a hundred human lives lost, and countless more still missing. Then there is the loss of homes, livelihoods, flora, and fauna, even churches.
The Episcopal Church of the Holy Innocents in Maui was burned—nothing of the building remains. It had served the community of Lahaina since 1927. The Episcopal Diocese of Hawai’i is mobilizing to help the people of Lahaina and other areas that were affected. Episcopal Relief and Development has set up an emergency aid fund to support the Diocese work in their recovery efforts and ministry to those who lost their housing, their businesses, and/or their loved ones. If you would like to contribute to this fund, you may do so here.
One of our former acolytes has been living in Maui since earlier this summer. He is safe, thank God, and he and his mother have asked for our prayers as the community grieves and rebuilds. Please join me in offering prayers for all those who are suffering because of this catastrophe.
Holy One, you are our comfort and strength in times of sudden disaster, crisis or chaos. Surround us now with your grace and peace through storm or earthquake, fire or flood. By your Spirit, lift up those who have fallen, sustain those who work to rescue or rebuild, and fill us with the hope of your new creation; through you, our rock and redeemer. – Jesuit Prayer
Yours in Christ,