I want to take a moment in my very hectic life to send you a very special thank you during this Christmas season. The Hurricane literally turned my life upside down.
A little over a month ago I felt like George Baily in the movie
"it's a wonderful life"
as he sat desperately sitting at the bar getting drunk telling God he was at the end of his rope.
There were many other issues that were going on in my life prior to the storm that was pushing my stress levels through the roof and I felt I was having difficulty keeping it together. However when my house was destroyed I simply did not think I could handle any more stress and yet here I am to write this email to you.
As a matter of fact, that is exactly why I am writing to you. You see, here it is only a month after hurricane Sandy and I still feel like George Baily, but somehow I no longer feel like that desperate George Baily at the end of his rope. Instead I feel like the George Baily at the end of the movie when the whole town rallied around him and instead was called the
"richest man in town".
One of the reasons I can honestly feel that way is because of you, yes, that's right, YOU!
You may or may not know what an impact you have made on me but let me assure you, this whole event has simply changed my life, and although I wouldn't wish what I am going through on anybody, I wouldn't choose to wish it away for myself even if I could.
You see I don't believe that anything is a co incidence including what we believe is tragedy.
What may seem like a tragedy to us may in fact be a blessing. We have a tendency to say something is good or bad because it makes us happy or sad, makes us feel good or bad but I have learned that often our greatest teachers in life are adversity, suffering, trials, and disappointments. I have thought back in life to moments that I thought I would die if I didn't get something I really wanted more than anything in the world only to reflect on that situation now and realize it really isn't significant or even not good for me in the long run.
So many people have said in the aftermath of the storm, how could God allow this to happen, yet I have heard many incredible stories of lives transformed by the storm. The point is, this wasn't the first tragedy in my life nor will it be the last but if we are open to change then perhaps, just perhaps God takes it and turns it into something good.
When the homeless heard I was homeless as well, so many of them that hesitated to trust me or accept me, came up to me after I said grace over the meal and hugged me, even invited me to stay with them! They seemed excited about showing me how to get by!
I do not pretend to know the mind of God nor do I wish to try, but one thing I do know. When I felt alone you were there, when I was overwhelmed and afraid, you were there, when I needed a hand or someone to talk to you were there, when I was hungry you fed me, and when I needed an emotional hug it was you that was there. I even felt the prayers of those who could not be with me!
..... I don't want to get all preachy and theological on you but the truth is
.... you were Christ for me.
Religion has nothing to do with this!
When we do these things for one another we in fact release a side of God that always exists in every human being even if we don't believe in Him.
That is His incredible goodness.
It is said that God is love and when we act in love we simply act more like God, so thank you for choosing to act in this way for me.
It has rekindled a very tried faith and helped me to more fully believe in Him again!
I was told by more than one person during this crisis that they were thankful that I allowed them to help me.
I was blown away by this and quite honestly didn't understand what they meant.
I was told that I always helped everyone else and that although they wanted to help me in some way, the opportunity never happened. I am so grateful that the opportunity to help me became available because I really needed your help, emotionally, physically, and yes even spiritually!
This became an incredible experience.
I think that allowing someone to help you is in fact an act of charity on your part even if you don't need it,
but a necessity if you do.
This tragedy in a sense has been kind of a funeral, you know how at the funeral everyone gathers around but then the real pain happens months after, when everyone Else's life goes on as usual but you must still deal with the grief.?
I am counting on you to be there as I work through this thing, maybe not so much physically involved but I know there will be those days to come when it seems rough again and life is throwing another curve ball and I need some moral support.
So I want to thank you for being there for me in the past but more so for the future that lies ahead. I have found in all my work with people that it is in sharing their tears even more than their laughter that we experience the true meaning of life together.
That is where we find our passion.
So maybe during this Christmas season as you perhaps glance at the baby Christ child laying there in a straw manger that He in fact lives within you even if you don't believe it,
because I have seen Him there with my own eyes.