Who Is My Neighbor? A Simple Response to the Oklahoma Tornadoes

Posted: May 21, 2013 in Giving
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Oklahoma Tornado SurvivorIn the midst of tragic events like this week’s tornado destruction in Oklahoma, there is always much that tugs at the heart.  We ache for the families of those who have lost loved ones.  We shake our heads in disbelief at the sight of the destruction, most of us unable to comprehend what it is like to have all of one’s belongings gone in a moment.  Those with small children hold their kids a little tighter before putting them to bed, shedding tears of compassion for those unable to hold their children any more.  We feel a little guilty that our lives go on with relative ease as so many others struggle to literally and figuratively pick up the pieces.

What can we do?  We can pray for those impacted.  We can give financially to help meet their current and future needs.  Some can go and give of their time and energy to demonstrate love and compassion for fellow human beings.  It won’t restore life that is lost or heal broken hearts, but it is the best we can do when events of this magnitude happen.

We can also rejoice in small victories – in lives spared in the midst of the rubble, in unusual circumstances that kept some people from where they would normally have been at that time that would have resulted in more injury or death, and in the touching stories that bring a lump in the throat such as when a woman’s beloved dog is found alive (pictured above).  We can be thankful that so many instinctively start helping others tirelessly.  We can be glad that in a nation where serious divisions exist, there is still a basic human compassion that overflows from the majority in times like this.

If your neighbor hurts, it matters not what political, philosophical, religious or social differences you have.   It only matters that someone is in need and you can do something about it.

Who is my neighbor?  Today, a lot of people in Oklahoma are my neighbors, even though I’m in Louisville.  They’re your neighbors, too.  Love them and show them you care in every way that you can.

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