I know what I feel like! I feel like all my skin has been removed so that I have nothing to protect myself.
If I feel this way then others who are THERE are pitiful, too. Like the little boy in the Shelter who had a bowl of rice krispies on his birthday. Like the elderly woman who found a piece of intact wedding china amid the debris. Like the woman who wouldn't leave her home because her dogs couldn't come with her. Like the man who let go of his wife's hand during the storm and never saw her again. My grief is real but is a puddle compared to the sorrows of those whose lives feel like a bottomless sea.
Two things: 1) When help comes to people on the Coast some will feel so odd receiving aid. Usually self-sufficent they will be surprised to be on the receiving end of help. They know how to give and help but not know how to be the needy. I cite the story of the Good Samaritan as a helpful text for them. If we read the story of the GS and put ourselves in the place of the hurt man, we see that it is often stranger who are the most help to us. Not our friends who are busy, nor the religious authorities who need flow charts to decide who gets a bottle of water but strangers who feel compassion for us. Further, learning how to receive is good for us. If we only give then we fool ourselves into believing we don't need.
2) If we trust God to be with us, that trust gives us "room" to feel what we feel. I'm not talking about multiple Drama Days or sitting around obsessing over our lot in life to the exclusion of serving others. I mean that trusting God gives us the richness in our lives to have time to be the Stranger in the GS story AND to be the injured person. Our days are in God's hands. I take Paul's (as in your Saint Paul) comment as my text for this. He said that in whatever situation he found himself in, he learned to be happy. Separated from loved ones, in a new place without directions, without a job, without a home, without possessions, in all those things he was God's and trusted God to work it out. *
*Note to self. Have now revealed that I never memorized that verse and am a stupid head unless I carry a Bible in my pocket. Hope readers recall the verse and that I haven't blown the entire meaning of it.
Tomorrow I will go worship at the United Church with Rick and Jill Edens.