“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.” ― Anne Lamott
Watching the news lately is a very difficult when it comes to human suffering. The victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma have probably touched all of us through a family or friend leaving us anxious about their status and wondering how we can help those stuck in such horrendous circumstances. Right away you want to give money to an organization, like Episcopal Relief & Development or the Red Cross that will get the help into the right hands immediately. But, as the news continues to tell the sad stories it is hard not to want to do more, to make a difference in a more impactful way. Very few of us can hop on a plane, fly to the disaster area and pitch in. I dream of being able to do such a noble thing, but it’s not realistic for me. I am very touched by the stories of those people that have the ability to load up their boats and take them to these flooded areas and literally be a floating angel sent to rescue those in need. It is neighbor helping neighbor. It is teachers whose schools are closed handing out meals to thousands of hungry displaced families. It is ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
So, what do we do with our feelings of uselessness? We turn our attention to our own communities and our own lives. Who’s in need of help? It might be as simple as sitting with someone who is sick or lonely. It might be a friend who is short on money this month and needs a few extra groceries. It can be a grand gesture or a bunch of very small ones, but it boils down to addressing those who are caught up in the swirling waters of life that need a hand to lift them up. It is living the teachings of Christ in recognizing the need of others and doing something about it right there in front of you.
Let us hope that our neighbors never have to go through what the people in Texas and Florida are going through, but if they do, let us hope that we will be the first people that bring in the boats, the food and ready with hugs. Doing God’s work on a grander scale is wonderful, but sometimes affirming another’s faith can be done with just a smile.
Sending prayers to all in need,