Like many of you, I have been watching the aftermath of the storms in Oklahoma from afar. Also like you, I’ve been thinking about what an appropriate response might be. I don’t know that I have anything profound here, but I do have three quick thoughts about what you might do:
1. Weep. The Bible says that we are to weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15). The most recent reports say that at least 24 people have been killed in this tragedy—many of which were school children who were trapped in the rubble at their school. I cannot imagine what it must have been like for some parents to have gone to bed last night still not knowing where their child is. It just takes your breath away even to imagine it. What must it be like to have to experience it? If you are feeling grief and horror at what has happened, those are the right feelings. Let them in, and weep with those who weep. The first and most obvious thing you can do to love those who are suffering is to feel it with them as best you can.
2. Pray. Let your grief turn into prayers. Offer them up to the God who “is near to the brokenhearted, And saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). Pray for more survivors to be rescued. Pray for the injured to be healed. Pray for the grieving to be comforted. Pray for Christ’s church to arise and to glorify her Savior. Pray for people to turn to Christ.
3. Contribute. You might also give to the needs of the victims. If you live in close proximity to the disaster perhaps there will be opportunities to show your love and support directly to those who have been devastated by this storm. But for most of us who are watching it unfold from afar, our best opportunity to help may be to give money to relief organizations on the ground. I’m partial to relief efforts led by Southern Baptists. Our folks do really good work, and you might consider a contribution to the Oklahoma Southern Baptist disaster relief or you can give through NAMB.
“If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?” (James 2:15-16).
Amen, good advice Denny!
Mary Gray Moser
I am a retired professional counselor. Among the thousands I have counseled through the years were an astonishing number who simply needed somebody to hear them in their time of trouble. And my professional experience comes to mind when I consider the OK disaster.
First: Denny, Is not the quote from James rather regarding a brother or sister in Christ? I think so.
But now, having said that, I believe that we Christians, in order to be like Christ, need very much to get to know both our believing and our unbelieving neighbors, especially those who live within walking distance from us. We need to feel for them, and it is not likely that we will feel for them if we do not know them on a regular day-to-day basis. Let us hope and so pray that Christians in the area of the disaster who are able to do so will personally give face-to-face aid and comfort to those suffering. And let those of us who live far away, yes, write a check to help if so led, but most of all let us learn as we consider this disaster to begin now, this very day to phone, visit, help, somehow communicate with those who live in our neighborhood.