Please read beyond the next sentence.
I love natural disasters!
Now, take a deep breath and allow me to explain. For the past couple weeks, we have been hearing about the flooding of the Red River in North Dakota and northern Minnesota. While the disaster itself is very sad, the response to the need is compelling.
I have been struck by the overwhelming response of citizens near and far, rushing to the scene and offering whatever help is needed. I have received first-hand accounts from two local heroes that took time out of their busy lives to make a difference in the Red River Valley. Both came back with similar stories of people coming together in a crisis with a positive spirit, hard work, and a belief in their fellow man.
Wow! What a concept! My question is: why do we wait for disasters? It seems to me that natural disasters bring out the best in all of us. Why is that? Why is that?
Think about times in your life where you or your community faced peril or crisis along the lines of a river flooding its banks. The first situations that come to my mind are tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards and fires. Memories come to my mind when I think of those things with a common denominator: a loving public response!
It appears that in the worst of times people are willing to do anything – ANYTHING – to help others in need. I can’t help but admit how good that feels, even though these tragedies often result in the loss of people and property.
These events appear to be unifying episodes in our lives. The challenge we now face, is how to make this response contagious in our daily, weekly, monthly and yearly lives.
If you think about it and take a look around, people are facing crisis, personal tragedy, or some other form of disaster in their lives each and every day. What if the natural disaster response became the way we lived on a daily basis? You might be surprised how many people are “under water” in their lives, right in our own backyards!
Opportunities to help people facing personal challenges are available if we are willing to take the time to notice and respond. The wind doesn’t need to blow 100 miles per hour and a fire doesn’t have to scorch a community for us to respond to urgent and compelling need.
Why not make it a habit – the way we are everyday? It may sound unrealistic and it may sound absurd, but what the heck. Dreams can come true!
FOOTNOTE TO ALL READERS: "Please keep responding with a loving spirit to natural disasters!" I'm just suggesting a little carryover!