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It was a dark and stormy night

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Indeed. It is a dark and stormy night. Tonight, Toronto is flooded in many areas. The subway system is down in many parts, street cars are not working, and our mayor has declared the roads unsafe. Basements are flooded, roofs are leaking. Tons of people are stranded tonight, many without power. And the rain continues.

On this dark and stormy night, I am thankful for the warm church basement office that is dry and secure. For the shelter manager who dropped by with a pillow, blanket and toiletries to make it through the night and offers of food. I am thankful that although the power went out, it did not last long. I am thankful for friends who have written to check to see if I am safe. I am thankful that my youth and staff got home safely.

But on this dark and stormy night, I think of my friends on the street, without shelter from the rain. I think of the shelter workers and street outreach workers, some of whom I know, who are caring for those who have nothing to protect them from the downpour. I think of the shelters that will be full and the people who will be turned away this night.

On this dark and stormy night, I think of the many people who are stuck in the subway system, either seeking shelter from the storm or unable to travel. I think about their loved ones.

On this dark and stormy night, I think of home owners and renters who will have property and belongings damaged, whose financial expenditures will be drastically increased by the flooding. I think about those without power.

On this dark and stormy night, I think about the places that require staff overnight and who may be short staffed. I think about the many emergency vehicles I have heard in the past few hours pass by.

And on this dark and stormy night, I think about those around the world who face flooding, famines and other natural disasters that make the Toronto flooding this evening so small in comparison.

And so on this dark and stormy night, in the basement of an empty church, I pray.

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