Certain things that you take for granted like electricity which provides power to your home, in some cases hot water, heat and gas when taken away can make you realize that a necessity is really a luxury. The first thing that came across my mind when we lost power, sat in the cold looking at candles lit giving us light was the shanty towns I saw in Johannesburg, South Africa. These little villages have some wires going into homes that were made of tin, cardboard, makeshift pieces of wood that I am sure were on dirt floors. Just to get electricity into these places must be quite a job and I’m sure it is not done with the type of safety that we require in our country.
Power is a precious commodity that I never think about. In fact as I walked from room to room with a flashlight, I would hit the light switch out of habit and always be a little surprised that nothing happened. Another reminder of what we take for granted.
Sometimes things sweep into your life like a storm and raise havoc with your plans and your routine. For me it was rather small, a little less than a week without power. I was uncomfortable and I was in the middle of fighting a bad sinus infection, but all in all, it was not like the pictures I’ve seen of people trying to recover and find lost pictures, scattered about as their house lay in rubble. We were not the people of Breezy Point who saw 80 houses go up in blaze with nothing they can do but watch as the fire grew bigger and bigger and their whole life turned into cinders.
“We watched the whole place go up in flames. It was hell night. It was the devil’s night,” said resident Thomas
It is interesting what disaster does to people. In some cases, it makes them more creative, it makes them think outside of the box and find new ways to get the things they need for life. For example, my daughter Allison went to Starbucks to get power for her computer and internet needs. Starbucks had kids standing around the outside of the store with cell phones trying to get the Wifi connection. As Allison and her friend Brian sat in Starbucks, there was a young woman who came with a power strip who plugged it in. Soon they and others asked her if they could plug into her power strip and of course she was more than gracious in allowing them to do that. Soon people were buying here lattes, cakes and other items. She probably never had to pay for a thing and had plenty of supplies in terms of food all night long.
I’m sure there is a sermon in here somewhere but let me say this, each of us needs to think of ourselves as a power strip that when connected to the source of all power, we can make a difference in the lives of others. Maybe we shouldn’t count ourselves short when it comes to our ability to give, to help and to support others who are in need. If people plug into us, they may discover a vast resource and we might even discover that we have a lot more to contribute than we thought!
In the end, don’t underestimate yourself and the gifts God gives you.