I was thinking about birra's comment to the entry two posts down where I told about the robbery happening. He talked about an approach to difficult situations. It made me remember Katrina...MY Katrina, not the media circus most of the world saw. Not the looting, not the horrible, unconscionable response from FEMA.
In our neighborhoods, we don't know our neighbors like my grandparents did. We have cars and televisions and air conditioners. We value self-sufficiency.
During the weeks and months following that hurricane, our neighbors came together. The men formed chainsaw brigades and worked side by side cutting each others' felled trees. Women moved debris and tried to prepare meals for dinner. We shared our MREs and our water. We made up games to play in the evenings before bed. One was seeing how long you could walk on a rolling log. We had a "caber tossing" that was...memorable. Poor Lori...her mailbox had made it past Katrina, too.
We approached the aftermath with brotherhood and sisterhood. Some of us had lost almost everything. My two neighbors had enormous pine trees fall through their homes, slicing and crushing everything they had. I was relatively lucky...only the sides of my roof were sheared off.
We didn't yell at anyone. We cried together and we found a joy together that I have to tell you...I miss. We're a bit more back to the way things used to be. Not exactly. I doubt we'll ever be quite so aloof again, but it's not the same. The closeness and sense of community is not so clear. But I saw it and I am comforted by the sure knowledge that people CAN rise up by lifting a neighbor who lifts another.
Nothing special about me. I am calm about the robbery because I have witnessed more times than I can count how God keeps His word:
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. - Romans 8:28
He doesn't say "some" things; he says ALL things. That means even when we special members of the human race make choices that stink, it can be used for good purpose, HIS purpose.
The intent of this break-in was a selfish one, but what has already come out of it? People are being inspired to give:
time on a Saturday to clean
donation of plywood and the muscle-power to install it
news coverage to discover if anyone witnessed anything
a personal follow-up call from the police, checking on us
discounted glass for the window
I am, as always, humbled by the God I love and the people who can love so big. Thank you.
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