Recently, my wife and I were babysitting our two local grandchildren. Their family lives near a very active train yard and we’re pretty used to all of its noises. The screeching of rail car wheels against the tracks and the loud slamming and banging of train cars being coupled. And, all of the whistles.
But, what we heard last Wednesday went far beyond any of these sounds. It was as if every train car in the yard had suddenly been picked up and smashed into one another in some kind of massive train wreck.
It turns out, it wasn’t trains we heard, it was the wind. It howled and shook the house. It destroyed trees, pulling some enormous giants out by their roots and simply tossing them aside.
The devastation was mind blowing and widespread.
And, of course, the power went out. Went out and stayed out.
Once my wife and I were home it was time to go into action. Time to find all of the flashlights and candles and get out extra blankets for us, plus one for my 96-year-old mom, who stayed with us. Of course, there was one more important thing to remember, don’t open the refrigerator door!
You probably have your own tales to tell about power outages, so you know how the story goes. No heat, no food, no light, no TV or computer. And for us, no cell phone, since we don’t have a car charger.
No communication with the outside world.
The part of me that wasn’t feeling sorry for myself understood this is the way vast portions of the world’s population feel every single day of their lives.
I don’t mean being without electricity, although there are many who exist this way. I mean feeling powerless to have the kind of life they want, for themselves and for their families. Powerless, with no real prospect for that to change. Powerless, and probably, hopeless.
I thought of all the people whose whole world falls apart due to some calamity. Some outside or inside force that shatters their lives.
I thought of those who deal with disease or oppression or racial injustice or malnutrition. The list goes on and on.
I thought, what is my powerlessness compared to theirs?
You might be wondering, what is the message of inspiration here?
Well, part of the answer is found in knowing how our electricity was restored. PEOPLE. Humans reconnecting wires and reestablishing a path for the power to travel.
People working together we are capable of incredible things. We’ve been able to reach out and touch the moon and beyond. We’ve discovered new medicines, saved rain forests, created new ways to harness energy. This list goes on and on too.
People working together we can do amazing things. Perhaps we can even offer hope to the powerless. No doubt, there are a million ways to do this.
Choosing just one can make a difference.
We all can make a difference.
We don’t have to cure everything in the world. But, imagine if one million people did one thing to help restore power.
That too would be mind blowing.