"Deep in the Heart of Texas"

"Deep in the heart of Texas" by Stephanie Stovall (CatholicMom.com)

My parents’ home in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Copyright 2017 Jonathan Lackey. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

There’s a song every Texas school kid learns as they take their first steps into an educational building.

“The stars at night, are big and bright

(clap, clap, clap, clap, clap )

Deep in the heart of Texas.”

It’s one of those songs that as soon as the melody starts playing, your heart smiles and your memory pulls out the old Elementary School File.

You think of the fifth-grade performance and that silly costume you had to wear.

You think of old friends and the ones you’ve somehow been lucky enough to have kept along the way.

You think of art class and, was it … Ms. Daley? What a terrifying, wonderful woman.

Usually childhood memories bring comfort and joy. If you live far away from where you grew up, they mean all the more to you.

When the rain began relentlessly pouring down over Houston; those memories came rushing back with deep sadness and hurt.

Hurt for your family and friends that were living it and hurt for the places of your past.

Houston will be different, but Harvey will not change the heart and soul of who we are.

We are the Astrodome, Jeff Bagwell, J.J. Watt and Hakeem Olajuwon (Clutch City, baby!), Brother’s Pizzeria, HEB, Lupe Tortilla and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, where all artists are invited … from Selena to Boys II Men to Garth Brooks. A full beach trip can be made in a day and rockets get sent into space from our H-town.

But more than anything, deep in the heart of Texas, is goodness.

Good, God fearing people that desire to hurt right alongside their neighbor.

People that were lucky enough to have a dry living room did not hesitate to throw all credit and gratefulness to God. They considered it a blessing from above and intended to go right out and become a blessing themselves to those that did not have a dry floor.

Since the floods, all eyes have been on the fourth largest city in our country.

The world has watched my classmates, just regular good ol’ boys, jump into bass boats and monster trucks to go save some stranger’s life. Doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like, what you believe … you need help … you grab my hand, get in and let’s go rescue some more people, buddy. And shoot, Mattress Mack isn’t just a local legend anymore; that beautiful Catholic man’s gone viral.

I don’t know why this happened to my hometown, nor does it matter. What I do know is that God brings good things, real good things, from the bad. Another thing we all know is that these times we’re all living in, are crazy. We’ve all gone insane.

I’m not sure there’s a person out there that isn’t scared or concerned to the core about what kind of future our children will have to face.

But, take a moment to look at Harvey and all it has done. Take a look at the faces of southern Texas.

Do they look like they all come from one place? They don’t.

They look like your family and mine.

They look like that picture in schools where the Earth has those stick people of all kinds holding hands around it.

There’s another song every single Texan knows by heart, and please, hold the eye rolling until all Texans have at least finished tearing down the dry wall.

The song is called “God Blessed Texas.”

Today, those verses have taken on a deeper, close to home meaning.

“First, He let the sun shine

Then He made the waters deep

Then He gave us moonlight

For all the world to see

Well everybody knows that the Lord works in mysterious ways

He took a rest, then on the very next day…

God blessed Texas

With His own hand

Brought down angels from the promised land

Gave ’em a place where they could dance

If you want to see heaven, brother, here’s your chance

I’ve been sent to spread the message

God blessed Texas.”

Here’s the thing, and P.S., I don’t mean to be controversial in these extra sensitive days, but … God didn’t just bless Texas.

The pictures of unity you are seeing are not because the hurricane happened to hit a state where people know how to love.

If disaster would have hit Nebraska, Alaska, Colorado or any other state … the pictures would look exactly the same.


We’ve seen this time and time again. People being there for each other. People picking each other up off the ground and simply loving.

Whether we like it or not, deep in the heart of our country, is love for our neighbor.

It shouldn’t take horrible natural disasters or terrorist attacks to show us.

We need to stop acting like a tantrum-throwing little two-year-old, guys.

Are we not all tired? How are we not all exhausted?

Let the media do its media thing.

Let’s, the rest of us, do US.

So, how ‘bout this for a game plan…

  • Keep praying for all affected by this tremendous storm as well as all other natural disasters going on in our country right now.
  • Donate as best you can, money and time.
  • Next time you start writing a negative post, don’t. No matter what the topic: religion, politics or even college football.
  • Next time your mouth opens to throw a dig at that person you don’t agree with, don’t.
  • Don’t forget the images you have seen from Harvey. Don’t forget the love you saw. Don’t forget how possible it is for everyone to come together!
"Deep in the heart of Texas" by Stephanie Stovall (CatholicMom.com)

One of my childhood toys, found in my parents’ home in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Deep in the heart of the United States, we really do love each other.

It’s just time we start acting like it.

Copyright Stephanie Stovall 2017


About Author

Stephanie Stovall loves Oklahoma State University and hanging out with her husband. She keeps Holy Mary busy praying for patience with her five little boys. Stephanie loves God, Catholicism and evangelizing with all her heart! You can find more of her messy thoughts over on TheBlessedFruit.com

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