The horror we face in Australia this week has been called our “worst ever peace-time disaster.”
I truly don’t know what to make of it all. There are stories of heroism and sacrificial love emerging, along with tragic stories that seem beyond belief. People have made some outstanding choices, which make a difference. The choice to stay and fight the fires, the choice to go there to help, even from other countries. People have made choices to give – their time and resources – and to let others know how we can give.
This afternoon a truck (at least) leaves our city of Dubbo with our clothes and blankets, the blood banks await our donations for those whose lives hang in the balance, and I know that so many ways to donate are being made available, not only across Australia, but also internationally.
Amongst all the beautiful stories of love, generosity, and bravery there is the truly awful thought that less-thoughtful people have actually started some of this whole mess! How could one be so clueless! Or calculating? I don’t know what’s worse – but the effects are the same. Hundreds of people have died and the fight still continues to get the blazes under control.
When I first started seeing the death toll rise from 50 to 75, then to over 100, it occurred to me that this, while horrifying, would be considered a small number to people who have endured years of living in fear of riots, epidemics and wars that wipe out thousands, even millions of precious people. The declaration that I read on a news channel this morning, that this is our “worst-ever peace-time disaster” was a powerful reminder that we do live in relative peace in this nation. We have much to be thankful for. I’m sure there are many thankful souls in Victoria now, thankful to have escaped, thankful for the support of friends, colleagues and complete strangers.
As the headlines change, I continually see this all from different perspectives – I hardly know what to write. But I write… and you may love one paragraph and hate the next. Tomorrow I may wish I’d written this differently, but I’ve written, and I hope to encourage some people, and highlight the wonderful moments that emerge through tragedy.
You only need to search online to read latest news stories and watch videos of what is going on, so I won’t link this to any particular stories, but there is one that is worth sharing that you may not have seen, unless you subscribe to my friend Lisa Rubintein’s blog. Here’s a beautiful perspective we need to consider as we give, grieve, and love. http://www.lisarubinstein.net/2009/02/laughing-in-dark.html
Keep looking for the opportunities to give, even if only a word of encouragement and a smile. I have more to say on the impact of that – but let’s keep that for another blog or I’ll be here all day writing topic after topic!
Cheering you on, through all kinds of days,