Saturday, October 12, 2013

Batten Down The Hatches

When you experience radical emotional upheaval, the phrase "batten down the hatches" is a useful metaphor. It implies that everything that can be tied down, secured, or protected, has been. A storm is descending and there is nothing that can be done other than "riding it out." The one positive within the metaphor is that sufficient time has been provided that one can take precautionary measures. Whether those measures are equal to the circumstances is a moot question; we have done all that we can do.

Emotional tsunami's are going to take place. Berating the injustice or devastation they cause doesn't address the work that needs to be done. In the aftermath, the best one can do is to start "picking up the pieces." Overwhelming as it may be, our focus needs to be on what's important NOW. The larger illustration lends itself to food, shelter, and medical aid to those in need. The personalized metaphor to emotional, psychological, and spiritual comfort.

No doubt Life has brought you both sides of this coin. Being devastated, and being an observer of devastation. As in all things, experience guides us. Knowing the emotional wreckage that losing a parent, sibling, husband, wife, child, boyfriend, girlfriend, job or house can cause, we know what needs to be offered. The question then becomes, do we? Or, having survived our own crisis, we shrug off the distress of others because we are too busy, detached, or ill-equipped to see our personal involvement? Whatever decision you reach isn't my concern. But as asked by another man; "if not you, then who? If not now, then when?"

Hurricane Phailin is bearing down on India. (what is known as a tropical cyclone in that part of the world) Landfall will be in the areas of Visakhapatnam-Brahmapur-Puri. As I have monitored the situation, one small blessing has been the reduction of the "eyewall replacement cycle." This simply means the intensity of the hurricane has been reduced from category 5 (the highest) to 4. I will spend a part of my weekend striving to be grateful for neighbor helping neighbor--village helping village--country helping country. The time is coming when we will understand and embrace the reality that we are all in this together.  


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rally Round

Two are better than one; for if one of them should fall, the other can raise his partner up.
~Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Imagine extending your support unconditionally for the next 24 hours. To anyone and everyone who happens to come your way. The stranger you do not know; the long lost friend. The beggar on the street, the work associate. The unknown neighbor in the grocery checkout line, the family member that you cherish. Your best friend and worst enemy...all receive your wholehearted encouragement.

Life comes at us relentlessly. It tears us up as it wears us down. None are immune. And I ask that you give what you so desperately need. Offer a hand up. The knowing nod. A wink of assurance. The smile of inclusion. Be what you long for...a friend.

"Over the years I've settled on this definition of my immediate family: Its whoever, when help is needed, shows up immediately." ~Robert Brault

Friendship isn't about who you've known the longest...its about who came and never left. ~Unknown