“The little reed, bending to the force of the wind, soon stood upright again when the storm had passed over.” – Aesop.
Going to a major college football game is quite the experience. An optimistic crowd of 90,00 people makes the atmosphere electric. Every good play by the home team brings the crowd to their feet, high fiving, fist bumping and hollering support at the top of their lungs. One of the great things about going to a game if you’re a sports fan is that it’s a shared experience; we’re all in this together even though we are strangers for the most part.
When the game is over, you walk out of the stadium, find your car, navigate out of the parking lot, and drive home. As exciting and rewarding as the experience was, you probably won’t give it too much thought after that. Nor will you give much additional thought to all the strangers who shared the experience with you. We had a shared experience in Hurricane Michael as well. It was a shared experience as people came together to support and help people who were mostly strangers. But what do we do when the storm has passed, when life crowds in again, when things get busy, and other responsibilities seem more important.
Hurricane Michael taught us a great many things. We learned we serve a God that is bigger than this storm, and we continue to hear stories on how God used this disaster to bring people together, to grow relationships, and to see thousands of people coming together in community to serve their neighbors. We learned to look at and love people as Jesus would, with a personal touch. And we learned that in the midst of this disaster, that we as Christ followers could shine the light of Jesus. That is not to say that everything is back to normal. We still have a long way to go. We know that restoring whole towns is a massive undertaking that will take months, if not years. But we are moving forward, slowly and progressively.
Reaching out beyond the walls of Northstar has always been at the very center of the mission of our church. Northstar has always been blessed with caring and compassionate people. That was evident during the days following the hurricane. It is what we are called as Christians to do … to serve God, to serve each other and to serve the least of these. My hope is that we emerge from the storm with a “different viewpoint” that translates into a commitment to serving others in a deeper and more meaningful sort of way. My hope is we will have that same level of engagement and mentality of serving even when the storm clouds are long gone. My hope is that we will have the same level of attention to the needs of others as we did in the aftermath of Michael.
And finally my hope is that people in our community during the rebuilding process discover a community of friends who inspire them toward a more authentic and honest understanding of the God who loves them and want to start a personal relationship with God as a result.
- Is it possible to have that serving mentality that we demonstrated after Hurricane Michael all year long?
- How do we go about making a serving attitude our normal way of doing things?