“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,”
James 1:19 NIV
Happy Wednesday! What a blessing it is to praise God after the storm!
We are five weeks after Hurricane Michael, and tempers are flaring. People are tired of the circumstances in which they are living. They are tired of fighting with insurance appraisers and FEMA representatives trying to obtain assistance. They are angry about the excessive traffic and undesirable visitors taking advantage of the situation. They are tired of the extra work and the way the town looks. Everyone longs for what used to be, and they are angry that the recovery has taken so long. The sad part is the recovery will take many more years. Our town has stopped in time, while the world has moved on. Halloween was cancelled and Thanksgiving doesn’t even seem important. Day-to-day is the reality.
It’s hard to be understanding when the attitude of pitching in and working together is gone. I was standing in line in the grocery store and a man came up to me and shouted something. I shook it off, because I understood. Another man walked up and shrugged his shoulders. This attitude has become common place at work.
What has happened is the community is going through a grieving process. The honeymoon stage of shock and feeling blessed has faded. Now the citizens of our town are oscillating between anger, bargaining and depression. When I say bargaining, I mean feelings and statements like “if only I had . . .”. There hasn’t been much acceptance that I’ve seen. This is very common from what I’ve been told. One or all of these feelings can be apparent separately or together in any order.
Have you ever known someone going through the grieving process? Have you been through the grieving process? Have you been through the grieving process with others, and had to try to keep your cool? Most of us can answer yes to one or all of these questions. It’s important to try to keep things in perspective as much as possible and remember what’s most important. Yet, when you break down, it’s okay. There is also nothing wrong with seeking assistance. It also helps to remember what James the Just said to be quick to listen, and slow to speak and anger.
If you are experiencing grief or helping someone who is, my heart goes out to you. I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday. God bless you.