Friday, June 22, 2007

Baptism by Flood, II

Cormorant Stretching
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
We walked to the highest ground we could reach before being cut off by water on four sides. Then we heard a voice – it was Amine Bensaid calling to Kevin. He had been a few cars behind us, and it trying to climb up the hill, he and his wife had gotten separated (due to the changing patterns of the water as they climbed). Kevin went back with him to help him find her. He said to me, “I have to go with him.” And I said, “Yes, but you have to come back.”

I prayed then, “Okay, Lord, what can I do to stay calm?” And I thought of my feet. I quickly put on running shoes that I had in my overnight bag (which I had slung over my shoulder). Soon, Kevin reappeared with Amine, his wife Samya, and Leslie (who had also gotten separated from us). I kissed Samya and put my arm around her as water dripped off our faces.

I realized that we were at a great risk of being swept away in the flood. I said to Kevin, “We should climb up in that tree. He said, “No, we’re staying right here.” (After the flood, half of that tree was gone, as it had been hit by something big…) I said, “We should try to climb up on that wall, because I think it goes all the way to the café area where I was.” He said, “No, we’re staying right here.” Minutes later, the wall exploded from water.

Then I saw that the water had dragged down a bus and a big truck which were forming a sort of dam. I said to Kevin, “When that blows, we’ll be swept away.” And that is what happened moments later: the “dam” burst, and truck, bus, cars and a wall of water came straight at us. We were swept away in the flood.

Under the water, I found myself praying, “Lord, I never thought I would die by drowning.” And I felt the Lord say, “There are worse things than dying.” And I felt so loved, so “held”. Then my head popped up out of the water. Then I was under again. (You can’t swim in force of water like this, by the way…) Then my head came up again and I heard another voice, Kevin’s this time, screaming, “I’ve got you, I’ve got you.”

More coming...


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