Lifting your Lamp during times of Crisis
Watching others suffer is difficult. Whether it is fellow Americans in Houston, Louisiana and now Florida facing water and devastation from hurricanes or hearing about others suffering in India from mudslides or Mexico from earthquakes, our hearts are touched and we yearn to give solace. What can we do in times of crisis to lift our lamp and provide refuge?
Money and supplies are the first thought that comes to mind. Helping those who are struggling to put their lives back together by donating to involved charities and organizations is the easiest way to reach out from across the miles.
Reaching out in person is another way to lift your lamp. I know a man who flew to Sri Lanka after the tidal wave and continues to give back to that country and help the survivors to recover from the devastation that happened there many years ago. Those of us who have time and means can travel to affected areas and reach out with our work and our kindness. Sometimes a listening ear is most needed. But helping those who have lost most everything to clean out their homes while listening to them is probably not just doubly helpful but exponentially effective .
Praying for peace and recovery is also a way one can lift a lamp. I heard a man comment recently, “God willing” after admitting he was not a religious man. Those of us who are religious, can pray for relief and for those affected, asking God to bless and strengthen those who are suffering. Prayers do help.
Another way to lift your lamp now is to prepare for the future. I heard an anecdote once about a man who was applying for a job as a farm hand. When asked for his references he simply stated, “I can sleep through a storm.” Although his employer was a bit puzzled by that simple answer, he was hired. After months of hard work, the farmer awoke one night to a terrible storm. He hurried out to check on his farm, stopping by his hired man’s room to awaken him. The hired man did not accompany the farmer as the farmer rushed about his farm. There was no need. Because the farmer discovered that everything was put away and secured as necessary. Truly his hired man’s planning and efficiency did allow them both to be able to sleep through the storm.
We can do the same. We can plan ahead for the storms that will certainly come. We can give monthly to our favorite charity. We can volunteer to pack food, toiletries, bedding and clothes at charitable organizations who prepare ahead of time for future needs and crises so that help is ready when the storm comes. We can reach out to those around us who may not be affected by large storms, but may actually be experiencing less obvious storms in their lives. In short, we can be prepared by acting each day to lift our lamps.