Posted by Peggy Utley

We are witnesses to two devastating hurricanes back to back, Harvey and Irma. Two catastrophic storms unlike anything we have ever seen before on US Soil.  Ironic as it may seem, Irma is still churning and doing her damage on 9/11/17, the anniversary of the largest terror attack on the United States just 16 years ago. It is hard to get your mind around the magnitude of these events and the suffering they have inflicted on man, beast and nature itself.

People and animals have died, lives have been uprooted, homes and businesses have been destroyed and the full picture of devastation is yet to be known. What can we make of it?  The answer to that question will be unraveled in years to come and may never be fully know.

On the one hand we can say that nature is impartial to human existence, human feelings and the economy. A second thought is that we rarely call it a disaster when a tornado, earthquake, hurricane, fire or volcano strikes in places were human beings do not live.  We call it disaster when human lives are involved and when our comfort zone is threatened.

Levi Novey, Director of Communications and Marketing for The Corps Network, the national membership organization for our nation’s Service and Conservation Corps suggest that there is a good and positive side to natural disasters that deserves our attention. He says that natural disasters provide a greater respect and appreciation for nature. Many cultures like those in Peru actually hold festivals in honor of nature.  Natural disasters give communities a chance to improve their infrastructure and re-prioritize community needs. After every disaster, building codes are reexamined and strengthened.  Natural disasters have positive ecological effects.  For example, storms redistribute earth’s heat, enrich soil and renew our forests.

I would add that natural disasters such as Harvey and Irma raise the level of human compassion. We are already seeing an outpouring of generosity, kindness, volunteer efforts, emergency response, food, clothing, and hygiene needs coming from all over the country to those most affected. Many charitable organizations have stepped up their efforts to meet critical needs.  CVBC is supporting the ministry of Baptist Men who spend every dollar directly on disaster relief.  Make your check out to CVBC designated Baptist Men.

In His Love,

Charles