Are you prepared? It’s a question that could have several different responses, especially in light of the usual content of the worship blogs. But today my question and ponderings are, are you prepared in case you encounter a disaster?
I write this less than 24 hours after the devastating tornado hit Moore Oklahoma. A tornado that struck so fast and so vicious that it leveled blocks, leaving thousands homeless, took a toll on families who lost children and a community that has already suffered such loss.
Disasters can strike in an instant and sometimes without warning. They can change the landscape of a community, but they always change the lives of those who have been impacted. Often these disasters are called acts of God, because sometimes it is hard to find any other explanation as to how such devastation can happen.
But they aren’t acts of God, they are events that happen in nature because weather elements align just right, or the earth moves in such a way. It is hard though, to face devastation like what we are seeing on the news these days and not wonder where is God…
Sometimes we have to look for God, for God is everywhere. God was with those teachers who covered students to keep them safe, God was with the neighbors who opened up their storm shelters for anyone who was near, God was with those who went into buildings that were crumbling around them looking for those in need, God was with the first responders who searched throughout the night for survivors and those who perished, God was with the medical personnel that was able to evacuate a hospital with 10 minutes warning. God is within each of us as we respond to disasters around us.
Are you prepared? Are you prepared to help yourself and your family if a disaster were to strike? Are you prepared to help your neighbors if they are in need? Are you prepared to be the hands and feet, the voice and compassion of Christ as you might respond to a disaster situation?
We can all be prepared, we can have 3-day kits in our homes, a kit that is made up of food and water for three days, along with batteries, flashlights, a weather radio, blankets, food for pets, a first aid kit. We can have a go kit, a kit that is packed and ready to go if you have only a few moments warning to leave the house. In the case of a flood, fire, tornado, a kit that includes copies of all the important documents you might need, a few days’ supply of medicines, contact numbers, clothes, other items you would need if you couldn’t return home.
Why are these kits important? They are important because if we all have them, then we don’t become a problem to the emergency responders, if we are in need of food and water, others who might be hurt or trapped may not get the help they need if we are asking for help. They are important because if we and our families are taken care of, we will be able to help others.
It seems simple, yet it is something very few people have, but it is something that can truly help during a disaster. Another way we can be prepared, and be able to help in times of disaster is to be trained, whether through the Red Cross, or your local emergency management agency.
When we are prepared, we can minister to others, when we are prepared we can offer support, compassion, love. When we are prepared we are able to be an example of God’s love to those around us, just as so many are being right now in areas of our communities and our world that have suffered disasters.
Just something to think about.