Together We Are Stronger
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. ~Ecclesiastes 4:12
As we begin to recover from Hurricane Irma and the devastation it brought upon the Caribbean Islands, the state of Florida and other cities that were affected; I sit back and reflect on a few things that I would like to share.
This past week was full of fear, uncertainties, and a lot of preparation for what was to be the worst hurricane in history. I live in Tampa, Florida and the eye of Hurricane Irma was coming straight to my city to do some major damage. Everyone was frantic, trying to get their homes properly protected, a full gas tank and enough water and food that would last for at least a week. And in the midst of what may have been one of the most chaotic few days, it was also a very refreshing one. Let me explain.
Is it me or is there a sense of unity when crisis strikes? I mean, this past week I saw people unite like if it was Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas day. There was a beautiful atmosphere of unity. Neighbors lending a hand to others, strangers helping one another, relationships strengthened and bonds were solidified. The common denominator was “safety”. We wanted to be safe and make sure everyone else was safe as well. We realized that this catastrophe called Irma was headed towards us and the only way we could survive and overcome it was if we put our differences aside and united; helping one another and praying together.
No one cared about the latest trends, TV shows, or casual social media strolls, political or theological views; everyone came as ONE and focused their attention and energy on what really mattered in life, people. Notice, I said people and not things. A few weeks ago, I posted on Facebook this: “It’s impossible to follow Jesus and not care about the people He cares for. May we see people as He sees them.” When we put aside our differences and start to see people as Jesus sees them, our perspective begins to change. We no longer see our neighbors as those who we have small talks with when we go check the mail (because who wants to be that rude neighbor? No one.) or the cashier at the grocery store who is making minimum wage and barely making ends meet as the one who rings us up and bags our groceries. The truth of the matter is that: People matter. You matter. I matter. Everyone matters. And this week we saw people taking care of people; it was so great to see families, friends and strangers taking care of each other. My question is, how long will this continue? Will it last until we go back to our “normality?” or will it cease when we “resume back to our regular scheduled programs?” Will we need to wait for another “hit” to shake us up so we can realize that it’s really not all about us. We must be sensible to other people’s needs, because together we are stronger.
In Ecclesiastes 4:12 King Solomon speaks about this rope metaphor to encourage us that we can’t do thing called life, alone. This verse is often referred to husband, wife, and God but can be applicable to friendship and building stronger relationships. “The image here is of a rope crafted from multiple strands. The rope is strong, enduring pressure without snapping. Each strand is essential to the strength of the cord. The strands are twisted and woven together, intertwining to create a powerful bond, Alone, I am string. Together, we are rope. It’s a great image of enduring friendships.” (Jeff Manion, Dream Big, Think Small)
As many of the our fellow citizens begin the rebuilding process in their lives and in their communities, I pray that what we all felt these past couple of weeks is never forgotten. Hurricane Harvey and Irma brought great devastation and millions of lives were severely affected by these natural disasters. It would also be devastating if we as people begin to grow distant of other people in need. As we begin our routines and get back into the rhythm of things; let us not allow this thing called life consume us to the point where it's all about “me'. Let’s continue to look out for one another in love and in peace. Life is so much sweeter when we do it together.
You + Me + God = A cord of three strands is not easily broken.
Be Encouraged, Be Blessed!