This past weekend, the southeast coast of our country experienced Hurricane Matthew. If you were directly impacted by the storm, did it cause you to stop and think twice about relationships and how you interact with one another? Even if you were not directly impacted, did it cause you to reach out and check on family and friends? Did you call someone and ask, “How are you and your family? Is everyone and everything around you okay?”
Being that I live in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and have family who live on the northern coast of Florida, Hurricane Matthew directly impacted us. Now, as I reflect on these past few days while weathering the storm, I can’t help but also think on how the storm connected people. Interactions changed.
Leading up to and during the storm as well as the following day, I witnessed neighbors coming together and sharing supplies. Individuals were interacting about ways to make life in this moment better. “You are welcome to stay here, no need to be alone”; “We have plenty of food, water, as well as flashlights and radios, do you need anything?”; “Come over for breakfast, I have a gas stove”; “I will drive to my church and get ice for us”; “I hear you have coffee, may I have some?” I received and sent numerous texts, emails, and phone calls: “Thinking about you … How are you and your family?”
During storms, people intentionally connect and express patience, gratitude, and hope with one another – loving interactions seem to appear in particular while weathering a storm. The messages being communicated tend to be about being in this together. Each person intentionally relaying messages like, “I am here for you”; “I care about you”; “You matter to me”; “We can get through this together”; “Let me know how can I help.”
These messages t.e.l.l. how we all can help and experience a better life in any given moment.
How can we help one another weather a storm? How do you weather a storm?
Maybe we can learn from this physical storm and realize how so many people are weathering personal, emotional storms every day. Everyone’s life has storms – major and minor. How can we do better at helping each other weather storms?
How can we show and t.e.l.l. each other, “I am here for you”; “I care about you”; “You matter to me.”
How do you show and t.e.l.l. yourself, “Where are the skills and tools I need right now?”; “Who can enlighten and empower me right now?”; “Where is that cup of coffee I need to help me wake up and get moving?”
When weathering a storm, helpful interactions definitely make life better in the moment.
In closing, prayers for those who are still weathering the impact of Hurricane Matthew. May you find strength, patience, and hope as you go through this difficult period. May you have individuals around you who are there to help you weather the storm and make this moment at least a little better.