Saturday, January 05, 2008
Yesterday there was a major wind storm where I live. Gusts were blowing away anything that wasn't nailed down. Neighbors of ours lost BIG trees on both sides of us - one went through the roof of their house, the other fell the other way, taking out a big section of picket fence, both pulling up huge piles of dirt with the tree roots. Then down the side street the other direction from us a tin roof came off - hit the power lines and made a huge FLASH-BOOM about 6 AM that woke up my husband. It then bounced off our garage and landed in our driveway.
Many people have been without power. On the highway semi trucks have tipped over. All around us is havoc. But amazingly we are unscathed. All my lovely trees are still standing bravely. I feel like guardian angels have watched over us through the whole thing.
Ordinarily I enjoy stormy weather. It feels especially cozy to be safe, warm, and well fed in my own secure house while wind and rain howl outside. But not this time. I couldn’t help but be unsettled with worry about those I love who might be in harm’s way in the face of this monster. All day long I was deeply concerned about others who were not coming through the winds as well as I.
As soon as things settled down we started calling around and sending out e-mail queries to check on those we know. We found out who had damage and who needed help. Early this morning will begin a work party of hammers and chain saws. We'll help neighbors and friends clear away broken trees and patch back missing shingles. We'll get the mess cleaned up and reassure everyone that they have allies who care.
As I sat and reflected about this, I thought about the other storms that are raging in the world. Again, rather than just stay cozy in my own comfortable niche, I need to reach out to see who needs a hand to clear away damage of another kind. For some it is an ailing parent, a barren womb, a lost job, a wayward child, mental illness, broken covenants, addiction, the list goes on and on. I can no more fix the underlying problems that beset the people I care about than I could stop the wind. But I can stand strong is support of those who are hurting. I can offer my hand and let them know I care.
God knew what He was doing when he said "it is not good for man to be alone." He created us to be helpers to one another.
It is SO EASY to get wrapped up in my own problems and concerns. That self absorption is one of the devil's favorite tools. Satan knows I am not going to go out and do things that are deliberately mean or callous. But if he can just keep me BUSY enough or too focused on MY little woes to to take time to love my neighbor, then in a way he still wins. So I need to remember that. It is important that I do practice healthy self-care and make sure I keep my own boat well chinked againsts leaks that could threaten staying afloat. It serves no one well if I am so busy running around doing "good works" that I fall over from exhaustion and need help myself. But once my wick in neatly trimmed, then I do have a responsibilitly to share my light with others.
Sometimes the damage is obvious, like when my neighbors have a tree poking through their roof. Other times it will be more subtle. I'll need to stay AWAKE and open to discernment, listening carefully for the still small voice of the spirit to know... who needs help today? Because we all have storms to get through. That connection that holds us together in good times and bad is what makes the journey worth while.