As Hurricane Ian approaches my community this evening, I shared this blessing with my congregation.

Bless us God with Your healing power, and shield us from all harm, pain and fear. May we and those we love be blessed to survive this storm with minimal damage to our homes and possessions.

Protect the evacuees and those who are staying in place. Bless the neighbors who helped put up storm shutters, who sheltered each other, who knocked on neighbors’ doors to check on them.

Protect the first responders who will work throughout the storm, and give strength to all who will work to clean up after the storm, especially those whose dangerous work involves restoring power to our homes and places of business.

We know that the full strength of nature will be unleashed during this hurricane, and we respect your creation, both those elements that are calm and beautiful, and those that are fierce and awe inspiring. Give us strength as we lean upon one another. Teach us your ways, and guide us as we move through these Days of Awe toward Yom Kippur.

When the storm has passed, God give us the strength to move forward with courage and passion to put our own lives back in order and to help those around us