Gaining Perspective Through the Eye of a Storm

Everyone enduring the last two weeks here in central FL with Hurricane Irma have stories, situations and scenarios. Though specifics may differ most of us are simply fatigued with decisions, disruptions and distress. We are spent, so to speak. That is, our budgets, our sleeplessness, our patience. Though we understand ‘it could be worse’, there is no denying we our uncomfortable and exhausted. Thousands are still without power (including Michael and I) Some are temporarily relocating and others have found themselves unemployed. Last night after working late, I stopped at the store for our elderly neighbors. The bread and water aisles are bare (still) again. Store clerks look tired. Freezer cases have thawed and ‘slippery when wet’ cones border their aisles.
Young parents are scrambling to find sitters since day-cares and schools are flooded or without power. Some are searching for lost pets. Today, a woman roamed our generator-deafening neighborhood calling for “Mocha”, her half blind, lost kitty. Yesterday, two of our neighbors crashed their cars short-cutting through a nearby development since our street was impassable. Mobile homes are unlivable. Cars have been crushed by fallen trees. Bodies are hot, sore and tired from raking, hauling and clearing debris. Simply sitting here typing, I feel the sweat beading up on my skin and the thought of our cold (only) shower is somewhat appealing.
Inconveniences challenge our ‘normal’. It’s one thing to be uncomfortable and quite another to endure greater suffering. Those facing life-threatening illness, hospital stays, incurable disease wish their only struggle was tree clean-up and power outages. I read daily reports of a friend battling serious post-surgery infections. I watch our neighbor endure pain knowing his cancer has returned. I’ve seen the tears in my co-worker’s eyes grieving the loss of her newborn. Perspective gives us the ability to gracefully endure the uncomfortable. It gives us the motivation to come alongside those hurting – to share supplies, cook a meal, watch their children or simply listen with compassion. I’ve heard some say how guilty they feel for not having suffered loss. Those who have need you. They need relief. They need to know they haven’t been forgotten. They need to know someone cares. Simple acts of kindness especially in troubled times makes a wilting heart bloom again, for both the giver and the receiver. Gain perspective whatever your situation so that your life and the lives of others in your sphere of influence can be blessed.

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