As always, I will begin this column with a prayer, in fact, many prayers. First I pray that this column has meaning, even if it’s to just one person.

Next, I ask for everyone to join me in prayer for everyone in our great state that is affected by the horrible devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.

I also ask that you join me in prayers for the first responders and volunteers who are risking their lives to save others. This includes police officers, firefighters, paramedics, state troopers, wildlife wardens, National Guardsmen and all the selfless others who serve and protect our citizens as they put themselves in danger.

I want to pray a special prayer for the unsung heroes through all this, the emergency dispatchers, who I’m sure are working around the clock to handle the increased call volumes. In addition to directing the traffic to the proper authorities, they are dealing with extremely distressed citizens who are fearful for their lives.

As I watch all the devastation on TV, I’m overwhelmed at what I’m seeing. This is beyond belief. In my 72 years, I have never seen so much flooding in so many places at once.

Even with all this, I am seeing so many great things. People who have lost everything have a smile on their face as they are rescued by complete strangers. Their comments about losing everything but thanking God they are alive is such a blessing to hear.

Private citizens are launching their personal boats and jet skis to help rescue people who are stranded with no way of getting out.

Texas, with the help of courageous volunteers from fifteen states, will recover from this, but it will take many years for us to get things back to normal completely. We are so grateful for our wonderful neighbors from these states for their help.

Hundreds of Texans are donating their money, clothing, food, water and whatever is needed to help their fellow citizens.

Our leaders, on every level of government, have stepped up to provide the necessary help our citizens need and they will continue to do so for a very long time. Many things were put into place prior to the storm hitting the coast, and those measures have saved many lives. Thousands of citizens were welcomed with open arms in northern Texas cities that will provide shelter, food, and other necessities. Of course, no matter what our leaders do, they will be criticized by the do nothings who sit idly by and do nothing but complain.

It is unbelievable that the death toll at this point remains very low. It is my prayer that it stays that way.

After seeing a steady diet of hateful protests, destruction of history, willful destruction of other people’s property and the halting of free speech, seeing the many acts of heroism in South Texas is so refreshing.

It’s a shame that thousands show up for these hate-filled protests, but only hundreds show up to do acts of heroism.

In closing, I just want to wonder out loud a little bit. Why does it take a tragedy such as this for Americans to come together in unity to help instead of hate one another? Could this tragedy be the beginning catalyst for the healing and uniting of our great nation?

One more thing that warmed my heart is what one of our Texas politicians said, and this is not verbatim. I haven’t heard this spoken since 9/11. “During this time, we are not liberals or conservatives, Republicans or Democrats, black, white or brown. We are Americans.”

I agree with this politician, which isn’t something I do very often. In times of tragedy or severe need, we do what Americans do best—we step up to do what is necessary to help complete strangers, our fellow Americans. I am so blessed to live in this wonderful land we call America.

If you will notice the last four letters of the word American. It’s I can. I can help. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Please continue to pray for Texas and our citizens, our first responders, and volunteers and each other. God bless Texas. God bless America and God bless you for reading my column.