As life does move on to the next day, days, week, and weeks, may we stop long enough to be encouraged. We can be encouraged by the general kindness of those around us. We can also be very encouraged by the love and tenderheartedness of those who are in the body of Christ and have experienced truly the love of Christ. Both of these things – bright lights in the midst of devastation.
As the news broke of all the thousands of people affected by the tornadoes that ravaged through Kentucky on Friday night and Saturday morning, we began to grasp the devastation of the evening. Just days before Christmas, the celebrations in many towns throughout Kentucky have turned from holiday preparation to absolute terror, grief, and, for some, survival. As a native of Kentucky and with family living in and around multiple towns effected by the storm, this storm seems especially personal. As it came through southwest Missouri on its way over to Kentucky, both a wedding I attended and my home went through tornado warnings on the same night. However, in God’s providence, southwest Missouri escaped the destruction that happened in Kentucky. As a personal observation, I want to take a moment to be grateful for a bright light in the midst of devastation. In fact, although they are connected with each other, let me mention two bright lights.
The people in urban areas, towns, and communities of the United States do their best in the midst of crisis. First responders specifically and initially risked their lives to begin seeking to save others’ lives. But, as you know, it did not stop there. Hundreds of people went into action to help their neighbors. Some were seeking to rescue others, some restoring power, some collecting belongings, and others collecting and delivering supplies to help those in need. In this moment, politics are set aside at the neighbor and community level. It does not matter the person’s religion, race, social status, favorite sports team, or political bent; in this moment, all are people. Mankind helping mankind. Each person seeking to do what he or she can to lessen the impact of the storms on others around them.
This general kindness shines as a bright light in the midst of devastation. After the storm, even before daylight, the communities begin to crawl with individuals who are more fortunate than another related to storm damage begin to move toward others with help, relief, and general kindness. People literally doing whatever they can to help another. A bright light indeed!