Can Flames Compete with Tweets?


Don Remick

10/17/2017

Overwhelm: It seems to be a common word these days. News is full of stories that tap deeply into our compassion and concern.  But they are so full of emotion that it becomes hard to keep going.  One more tweet in the daily barrage from the White House sends news media spinning and our Facebook echo chamber buzzing.  As flames consume homes and lives, one more news report of the devastation of a disaster, and our senses are on overload…again. 
 
That tendency to just turn it all off and deal with the day-to-day is oh so tempting. And every once in a while it may be necessary.  As Elijah learned (1 Kings 19:11-13 NRSV):  He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by”. Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  A great wind. An earthquake. A fire. Sound familiar? 
 
So we long for the “sound of sheer silence”.  We want to wrap ourselves in a mantle or a warm blanket or a prayer shawl.  We want to go somewhere to ‘Be Still and know that I am God’. 
 
Overwhelm. 

As I imagined this disaster update, I paused, because what else can I say that hasn’t already been put out there?  You all know the drill of where to send funds and where to find updates. You don’t need one more blog repeating the same images, stories and tugs at your heart (or anxiety).  You certainly don’t need one more tweet.  I confess that it would be easier to just put on some good quiet music and shut off the news.  But then those words come back: Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  And I was reminded there is work to be done and folks who need us to be about that work in Napa Valley, in Puerto Rico, in Las Vegas, in Mexico, in the Houston area, in the many Caribbean islands, in Florida…and in so many places around the globe. 

So, pause if you must.  Listen to that sheer sound of silence of the God who invites you to be still. Then get going. 

  • Cleanup bucket collection:  We have only a week left.  If you are planning on delivering buckets to one of our temporary depots before the deadline, please call them to let them know how many you expect to deliver and to set up a delivery time.  You can find those locations and phone numbers here.  Our response has been so good that Church World Service is concerned their truck will not be able to handle the load…so they are asking for an expected count of buckets.
  • Help us load the truck.  On October 24 (noon to 2 p.m.) the truck comes to Mittineague.  On October 26 it comes to Acton (8-10 a.m.) and Brockton (9-11 a.m.)  If you are available to help load the trucks with buckets from the depots, please email Karen Methot so we can coordinate a crew. 
  • Know that 100% of your donation to UCC Disaster Ministries goes directly to recovery efforts in these disaster areas.  If you want to know more about where your money is going, check the disaster update info  (please know that much of this work will support long-term recovery efforts).  And if you want to give more, that same page will guide you to a link for donations or a mailing address. 
  • In stillness and in action, keep on praying. 
Live the love and justice of Jesus.

Don Remick
Associate Conference Minister
Disaster Resource and Response Team member


 
 
 



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