Ordinary Disasters

At Covenant Presbyterian Church we recently were encouraged by two of our congregation who flew to Japan as soon as they could after the tsunami in order to serve in whatever way they could to bring calm and relief and restoration and hope to that land they love. They were sent with tremendous enthusiasm and overwhelming support and they have returned with great stories of God’s mercy and kindness.

I wonder how often we are blind to the ordinary disasters which sometimes silently befall the community around us.

A young woman in our neighborhood recently found out that another family in the subdivision was facing a relapse in their teenaged son’s cancer. Treatment involved daily five-hour round trips to a facility administering radiation. She on her own decided to respond to this more ordinary disaster in a wonderful way, recruiting many other neighbors to provide frozen meals for this family so that they did not need to worry about dinner for the duration.

I was really impressed, and we were delighted to be a part. I’m not likely to fly to Japan or to the location of the next geopolitical locus of need. But I pray that God would give me, my family, and our church, clarity in the ways we can reflect the compassion of God to our neighbors in the midst of their ordinary disasters.