Beating the beating: In the wake of disaster, hope stirs

Published 4:59 pm Friday, September 8, 2017


America is taking a beating.

Storm after storm has rammed into U.S. shores, splashing coasts and savaging landscapes.

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, homes are lost.

Lives, too.

And Hurricane Irma is on her way, squalling at the base of Florida and scrabbling northward with intimidating ferocity.

What a month.

Even the sun has flared up — literally.

The sun is emitting X-class flares, casting radio communications into confusion with its high-energy disturbance, according to The Independent.

X-class flares are highest-level solar flares, erupted from the sun when particles within the scalding mass of burning gas twist and shoot forth surges of energy.

This particular instance of solar flares includes an X9.3-class flare, the first of its intensity since 2006. The flares were issued from an M5 flare, which erupted from the sun on Sept. 4, spurting two flares on Sept. 6, The Register informed.

The first ranked an impressive X2.2, but was followed three hours later by the jaw-dropping X9.3 flare, according to

The largest solar flare ever recorded occurred on Nov. 4, 2003, according to NASA. It was ranked at X28, but may have actually been an X45, according to University of Otago researchers.


But the solar flares of Sept. 6 carry more weight with their arrival: The flares not only follow the pernicious departure of Harvey, they are also prompt for the ghastly approach of Irma.

What a month.

Beginning with the nationwide witness of the dark side of the moon on Aug. 21 and perhaps climaxing with the coastal confrontation of Irma, in a span of mere weeks, Americans have experienced a baffling combination of wonder and detriment.

America is taking a beating.

The wonder that remains is the love interlocking hands and hearts across the U.S. as Americans tend to the needs of individuals impacted by these disasters.

Here in the heart of Alabama, an impressive measure of outreach is sweeping the county. Numerous donation drives and fundraisers benefitting disaster relief are extending Chilton County hands to those in Texas, Louisiana, and I suspect soon, Florida.

I’ve seen it in story after story published here at The Clanton Advertiser. People of Chilton County, you are making a difference. Keep up the compassion, and keep up the prayers.

We really do need each other.

There’s nothing like top-level solar storms and record-breaking Atlantic storms to awaken faith and love in a sleepy nation and remind hearts that, yes, these things are crucial to thriving in a broken world. What is life and where is hope without faith and love?