It has been a horrific week in the northeast. In case you missed it, Hurricane Sandy ripped through New Jersey and New York, devastating the region. Many lives have not returned to normal as they are still lacking some basic necessities of life like food and shelter. Other lives will never return to normal as they have lost loved ones to this epic storm.
With power still not restored in some places and gas in short supply, the coming days will still present a high degree of challenge for those who are assisting in the relief efforts. But this week might prove to be even tougher for the affected residents of the east coast for an entirely different set of reasons.
America is moving on to a different news cycle.
Hurricane Sandy was last week’s news. This week it will be all about the presidential election. Oh sure, some stories will trickle out about the ongoing relief efforts, but most of the country will be focused on what happens on November 6th. By and large, Sandy – and those suffering from it – will become a distant memory for most of the country.
Why do we so easily forget about those who are suffering and in need? A few thoughts…
It’s easier to forget when you aren’t immediately affected. (We don’t feel or have to deal with the lingering intensive pain of the situation.)
It’s easier to forget when you choose to be detached from the situation. (If, for some reason, you are not watching the news or reading online, the graphic images of destruction do not become etched in our memory.)
It’s easier to forget when we are focused on the affairs of our life. (“I’m sorry you are hurting, but I have my own problems.”)
It’s easier to forget when we place significant importance on other events. (Like a presidential election…or who is getting voted off the island…or who is #1 in the BCS standings…or fill in your distraction here. Those who are in need no longer stand front and center in our mind.)
It’s easier to forget when we think we can’t do anything. (This happens when we don’t have clear answers to the questions “How can I help? or “What good can I do?” or “How far can this small gift really go?”)
It’s easier to forget as time passes.
These people have expectations they will receive the assistance they need. They need help. And that’s what Americans do in a time of crisis better than any other country in the history of the world. More importantly, that’s what followers of Jesus Christ should be doing. Didn’t Jesus say something like [paraphrase] “Others will know you are my disciples if you love (take care of) one another”?
You may have someone around you today who is hurting and in need. Think about how you may be able to help them. If you can’t help tangibly, then make a simple phone call or send an email to say “I’m thinking about you.” Those words placed in the heart of the hurting soul will be a great encouragement.
How are you encouraging others today?
Prior Post: Of Marathons and Money: Recovery Week Edition