Despite the threat of Hurricane Sandy, we proceeded with our plans to join my parents and my sister's family at my parents' place in Williamsburg. And despite the first rain bands of Sandy, we went to my parents' church to celebrate Reformation Sunday.
During the church announcements, the pastor reminded everyone that the church had a gas stove and that, as with Hurricane Irene, the church would be available to people. He reminded people of the wonderful time of fellowship that they'd had with that hurricane: people arrived to cook the contents of their freezers, which they shared. While people cooked, they also read, played games, and talked.
I found myself heartened by this vision of congregants gathering together. And yet, I also found myself wishing that it didn't take a storm to bring us together in this way.
I know that the days to come will bring us many challenges, especially if we suffered direct impact. But even if we didn't, there will still be needs that the rest of us can help meet. If you don't know where to start, the American Red Cross has always been very good at getting resources to where they are needed--today is a good day to make a donation. ELCA Lutherans have also traditionally done a great job; go here for more information.
Even if we can't spare any money, we can pray. It's a huge storm, and victims will need our prayers for months to come. We can pray for the government officials who will need to make decisions. We can pray for utility workers who will work themselves to exhaustion in the weeks to come. We can pray for those who have lost everything. We can pray for those who must make repairs.
We might even send cards, so that people know that we're praying for them. I remember week after week of clean up and repair after Hurricane Wilma. One day, we got a prayer shawl from a church in Oklahoma with a card that said they were praying for us.
I cried. From a distance of 7 years, I'm a bit embarrassed to admit how much it meant to me to know that a church many states away held us in their prayers. But it meant a lot. It didn't magically remove the damaged carpet or fix the holes in the roof. But that knowledge gave me the sustenance to carry on a few more days. And then a few more days after that. And then month after month.
So, give money or give prayers or whatever unique opportunities you may have to be of service. And then, pray a bit more.
feeling the feelings…
3 months ago