Storms, Gratefulness, Loss, and the Good Samaritan

This week you may be anxious about looming electric bills. You may be repairing damaged water pipes. You may be glad to have electricity and thankful for working toilets. You might just be enjoying the sunshine. Regardless of what your situation looked like last week, your life was likely knocked out of balance by winter storms.

Over the past year, we have faced a worldwide pandemic, a hotly contested and polarized election, numerous job losses, deaths of family and friends, and now disasters the size of Texas.

The storms of this past week also brought to light how helpful people can be. I have seen countless stories of people leaving money under doors to pay for water left outside gas stations. I have seen friends and neighbors invite others into their homes to get out of the cold. I have seen people helping one another at the grocery store and stores even giving away groceries at no charge to people in need.

The winter storms this past week offered great opportunity for people to serve one another and to stop focusing on themselves long enough to ponder things that are more important than politics such as shelter, food, and safety. The storms afforded people the opportunity to show kindness, mercy, love, and to be good neighbors.

It is interesting that when God sends us personal storms in life we typically have opportunity to realign our focus. Literal storms allow us the same opportunity. I am reminded this week of the parable of the Good Samaritan. In this parable Jesus shares a story about a man despised by Jesus’ own kinsmen who went out of his way to help a man who was beaten and robbed. Even the religious leaders did not help the man. Jesus then tells his hearers to be like the Samaritan who  had mercy on the man who was in need.

I hope and pray that as things start returning to normal this week that we will all keep in mind the goodness that comes from loving our neighbors, showing mercy, and living the life Jesus has called us to live. I hope that we will not lose sight of opportunities to do good for others and I hope that we will allow these storms to further the healing process of treating others with dignity and respect in our neighborhoods, communities, places of employment, and in our extended families.