Tornado-ravaged, with more storms on the horizon, the people of Joplin, Missouri have had their world pulled right from out under their feet. As the death toll rises and the devastation of the destruction sets in, these people of Missouri are in desperate need of shelter, food, medical aid, and most importantly, hope.
Like any great natural disaster, the city of Joplin has reminded us that sometimes, we simply cannot control the circumstances we are in. Things happen to us that are out of our control, and sometimes, we can not change these things, we simply must choose to react with open-mindedness and with hope. Also, these unexplainable tragedies are great reminders that we cannot and do not live in isolation from one another, even if we live worlds apart. Thomas Merton echos this big picture idea with these words:
The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.
There is an interdependence of human solidarity that makes times like these in Joplin, Missouri almost bearable. Robert White reminds us that “human beings have an infinite capacity for two things: giving and love,” and it is imperative that we let these expressions of our humanity shine, especially in times of disaster, and especially towards the people who need it most.
May our prays be with the people of Missouri and our hearts be overflowing with compassion, tolerance, giving, hope, and love.