I thank God for this new day! We escaped the wrath of Hurricane Florence and except for a few gray days, we have been so blessed. I pray for those who endured hardship, both during, and after the storm. These storms take a terrible toll. It is always difficult to know who will be hit the hardest and it makes preparing for these events all that more complicated. In the days that follow calamity, the mending begins slowly, but surely. Sadly, even when the storm is past, the flood waters continue to rise and isolated tornadoes leave their mark.
Always, we see signs of God’s grace in the midst of so much havoc: people reaching out to others to help in their time of need, rescues of people and animals from flooded areas, often in small crafts by ‘ordinary’ people. Perhaps, these are the stories we love best… the real-life stories of our heroes who live right next door, or across the street. Sometimes, these folks travel long distances to help their ‘neighbors’. Medical personnel from Virginia have arrived in North Carolina to help in the shelters. Tractor trailers full of supplies are on their way to people who have lost everything. Every donation of canned goods or a box of diapers helps.
It just goes to show that no act of kindness is too small or ‘not enough’. If you are stranded in a flood, a small dinghy is a welcome sight. The sound of another human voice may be the sound you have prayed for if you are trapped in a house and cannot get out. It is often not the biggest boat or loudest voice that saves the day. It might even be a call from a friend or family member just checking to see if you are okay. This is especially true if you are elderly and live in a house all alone when those first raindrops start to fall and the sky darkens.
We sometimes think that if we can’t save the world, what little we do does not amount to much. Each little drop fills the bucket. In no time, the bucket is full and overflows.
It does not take a hurricane to know that we are needed each and every day of our lives. Our efforts to help one another are never in vain. And it is our heavenly father who orchestrates the symphony of helping hands. Every instrument is necessary. Every note counts. Our hearts and hands work in many different ways, but nothing is wasted. What one person is called to, another is not…and there are more callings than we could ever imagine. Many times these callings are simply part of our daily life.
The winds of a hurricane move in a rush we do not understand. So too, does the spirit of God move among us. The wind gathers us in and we are dispersed, each to our own works of love in this life and in the life to come. The wind is not accidental. There is a plan and we are part of the flow.
In life, we can get caught up in all that is broken in our lives, all the things we wish we could fix. We can let the rising tide of hopelessness overtake us, and let the broken branches twist our dreams out from under us. Or, we can choose a different path.
We can work together in love, knowing God created us for his own symphony, instruments made for gladness and unspeakable joy. We must be that dawn of a new day, one to another, be it a time of peace or a time of storm.
I took the picture above of the sunrise one year ago today. It was onboard our cruise to New England and Canada. The sunrise on the water is always breathtaking. That light seems to transcend everything else…a new day to start over again, a new page in the awesome book of life God has so generously given to us.
“The wind blows where it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the spirit.” John 3:8