A Flood Story of Biblical Proportions

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Have a look at photos from the Sunday June 23 service, here.

by Linda Hunter

I have probably read the Flood Story in the Book of Genesis a few hundred times in my life.  You know the one that I am talking about.  Where it rains for 40 days and 40 nights and the flood waters engulf the land.  Noah and his family build an ark (everyone thought he was crazy!) and then gradually float their boat on the floodwaters.

Well, for the first time in my life, I lived a wee bit of the Noah experience.  In June, raindrops were always with us, culminating in a torrent of rain over the past week that filled river and creek basins to overflowing.  That, coupled with the spring runoff, came together in a perfect storm last week to wash over the banks of the Bow and Elbow Rivers to flood vast areas of Calgary, including the downtown core, the Stampede grounds, the Calgary Zoo, Bowness Park, The Drop In Centre and hundreds of homes.  The debris and dirt left in the wake of receding flood waters has left parts of our city buried.  Schools have been closed, businesses shut down and our own beloved Knox building has been closed, by city order.  The next few days will be uncertain at best and chaotic at worst.

As for my family, we were caught in the evacuation zone of Deer Run, with no electricity for 48 hours.  One prolonged power outage quickly showed us how reliant we are on technology.  We felt, in many ways, cut off from the world and made our way to a local fast food restaurant to watch the news from there.  With no laundry facilities or operating dishwasher, we soon learned to use towels more than once and hung around the kitchen sink talking to one another as we did the dishes.  What a concept, eh?  We have been mildly inconvenienced, knowing that thousands of others experienced far worse than we did.  At our dinner table (eating barbequed food) we offered prayers for our fellow Calgarians and Albertans who suffered much greater losses, even the loss of life.

So what does a flood of biblical portions have to teach us?

Above all, it has reminded us of the power of community.  All across the city, province and country, there has been an outpouring of offers to help, from emergency responders to ordinary citizens.  We are a human community, bound to each other by the silken cord of our human spirit and shared life on this planet.  None of us can go it alone.  We need each other.

Secondly, we are reminded that at the end of a devastating time, a rainbow appears in the sky, in the hopes and dreams and aspirations of folks who have been drowned by floodwaters for a time, but who rise, with the help of family and friends, to places of renewal and re-birth.  Out of the mud of the flood will come new life.  This is God’s promise.

To all in our Knox family who have been touched by the forces of the flood, we offer our continuing prayers of love and support.  To all Calgarians and Albertans, we offer the same.

Peace and love,
Linda Hunter

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