Monday, May 23, 2011

Disaster Close to Home: Joplin

It's hard for me to ignore disasters. Perhaps it's because they make me feel vulnerable. That could be me. That could be people I love.  You think terrible things will never happen to you or those you love, but they can.  Perhaps it's because I have this desire within me to want to help, to fix, to comfort... those broken and hurting due to disasters beyond their control. Seriously, I've thought more than once, I should be a part of a disaster response team.  Do I ever take steps to make that happen? NO. But every time a disaster happens, this nudge wells up inside of me. Part of me says that perhaps when my kids are grown, it will be a path I'll pursue.  Who knows. But I'm trying to pay attention to what this stirring is inside of me and figure it out.  It's part of that same desire that made me get my degree in social work.

Yesterday our pastor said, "Your path trumps your intentions." I can't stop thinking about that in so many areas of my life, including this one.  Forget my intentions to help in disasters...what path am I taking to help?

I have been reminded that sometimes they best thing you can do before disaster strikes, is to give without ever even knowing what difference your time or resources will make. It happened just before the Haiti earthquake - I went to Convoy of Hope and packed meals - a week later the earthquake hit and those meals were being sent to Haiti to help feed victims.  Two weeks ago both Morgan and Sarah put their money together, and I used girl scout money (half/half thing), and bought items needed to make Hygiene Disaster Kits (we were grieving those hurting in Alabama tornadoes). So at a troop meeting we talked about 'making the world a better place' and about being 'considerate and caring' and took time to make the kits. We then took the kits we made to Convoy of Hope, so they would have them when the next disaster struck. Little did I/we know that just a couple weeks later the disaster would be just down the road in Joplin.

Today I am working only because the teacher is in Joplin helping her parents and other family members cope with the loss that is all around - the loss of homes, of friends, of a community. I woke up feeling guilty that I'd get paid today only because others are facing deep tragedy.  And as much as I want the money...I think there are some people down the road who need it more than I do today.

1 comment:

Tammy P. said...

I helped with the triage; sadly not many happy stories & the weather really is hampering search & rescue. The destruction is unbelievable.