All the Helpers of Humankind
Hurricane Irma blew through a couple of weeks ago and left a big mess in her wake. Some areas were harder hit than others, certainly: lots of Floridians were flooded out, some houses were destroyed, and more than a few businesses suffered major losses. And that’s to mention nothing of the devastation left behind across the Caribbean.
In our own congregation so far, though, the damage reported has been relatively limited: a mangled carport, some minor house damage, a few downed trees, and the loss of electric and water for a few hours or a few days. Of course, a few days without electricity means the loss of everything in your freezer and refrigerator, as well as having to try to sleep in the heat and humidity of a Florida September. Not much fun, for sure.
Irma, as powerful as it was, turned out to be a minor blip on the radar of life for some of us, a frustrating inconvenience for many, and a huge disruption for a bunch of others.
In the midst of the tumult and anxiety, I was touched by the number of people who were willing to help in any way they could.
In the busy days before the storm hit, Bev and others on the Care Team were out trying to touch base with shut-ins and other members we don’t hear from often enough, making sure they had safe places to stay and people they could call in an emergency.
Some of our members invited people to come stay with them or, if their house happened to be empty because they themselves were out of town, invited those who stayed in town to use their houses for a few days.
Lori put together an email thread on which people could check in, which was a wonderful way to find out how everyone was doing before and after the storm.
And then as the weekend progressed, I received a number of calls from members who were themselves safely ensconced up north but watching the news, worrying about those who’d stayed home, and offering to bring truckloads of whatever supplies might help. I had to tell them that in our immediate area, people seemed to be weathering it all pretty well, given the dearth of power and water and all the empty shelves in the stores.
Caring for a congregation our size can never be accomplished by a Care Team or minister alone. This storm - if you’re looking for a silver lining - has highlighted the countless good hearts and numerous helping hands we are blessed to have among us.
See you in church,