Suffering Souls in the Phillipines: A Typhoon Strikes

November 12, 2013 by  

Phillipine image

There is not a single day that goes by that I do not come in contact with the Philippines. More accurately I have warm interaction with both Philippine-Americans and those vying for citizenship. As long as I can remember I have enjoyed a loving relationship with these my brothers and sisters. There was never anything forced. There was an effortless spiritual connection bringing about smiles and easy conversations. So it was that when I heard that the Super Storm, Typhoon Haiyan, perhaps the most fierce storm ever recorded, was headed for the Philippines, I was deeply concerned.

After the monster storm struck, leaving massive destruction and a death toll estimated in the thousands s, it was personal. The victims were not strangers or faceless. Television coverage brought real people and their stories into our homes. Even more real than that the Filipino community in my neighborhood were the family and friends of the suffering souls in the islands. Even briefly conversing with them it was easy to feel their devastation. Some of them could not even speak of the tragedy without choking up.

Whatever happens to the one happens to the many. If we dare to divorce ourselves from the storm or its devastating effects because we are not Filipino or we are safe in our own country we are already dying. The storm has already claimed us. Human tragedy affects souls, and that is what binds us all. No matter how different our appearances or cultures, we are all souls. That is the bottom line. When we reach out to each other at such times we unleash a power that makes a difference. A Zen master once spoke of his ability to raise his hand and alter the course of a ship at sea. Of course. You can do that also. Raise your hand and phone in a donation. Offer your prayers for and sympathy to the Flllpinos in your community. They are not shadows they are genuine people, deserving of respect and attention. Keep in mind also that the Southern tip of China was also struck

Christians are taught, “Love your neighbors as yourself.” If we just put this one scripture into practice our one hand will do more than change the course of ships. We will change the course of the world. Already there are those in the world community reaching out but some reporters on the scene feel like they are acting without genuine commitment or at least without haste. Lives are in danger. Every moment of hesitation brings one more person closer to death. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” How would you feel and act, if you or your loved one was in the midst of danger. Every life is your life. Let yourself embrace the victims in the most personal way. Then you will understand. Hold out your hand. You cannot restore lives lost but you can help save those still breathing.



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