Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Love and forgiveness can bring peace

Thought for the Week – Rev David Jones

Hurricane Harvey along with record levels of rainfall have wreaked havoc along the Gulf Coast of the United States. Thousands of people have been displaced and many will never be able to return to their homes as many houses and other buildings have been completely destroyed. The city of Houston, the fourth largest in the USA has not been unaffected and with latest reports giving even more warning of other hurricanes on the tail of Harvey the outlook is bleak. Hopefully Harvey will soon ‘peak’ so that re-building can begin and some sort of normality return.

Such storms in the North Atlantic are not uncommon with the hurricane season lasting from around June to November. The climate protection agency encourages preparations for the possibility of intense storms and hurricanes and depending on their severity that could mean from bunking down and weathering the storm to complete evacuation. Despite boarding up windows and doors, of getting increased supplies and emergency lighting the wind rain and storm were too much and there was no alternative for most but to leave their homes and that in itself is a devastating experience.

According to the weather experts all hurricanes are ‘brewing’ for some time before their intensity is realised. While the news of Harvey was being reported there were also reports of discontent of brewing anger on the streets of India which led to over thirty people losing their lives. In Charlottesville, a peaceful demonstration suddenly erupted into violence when a young demonstrator protesting against the evils of white supremacists was cruelly mowed down and killed while many others were injured. In Turkey and other parts of the world agitation and hostility has often erupted into all out-street battles.

There may be storms in our own lives. Old resentments often fester and broken relationships can play on our minds to such an extent that anger and feelings of hurt can become all consuming. Whenever this happens we need to take action to calm the storm to avoid the hurricane that can often follow. Never easy, sometimes bordering on the impossible when we feel that we are the injured party, but perfectly rational in the saying I often hear that life is too short…. and it is! Jesus said ‘go that extra mile’ and in loving God and our neighbour, extending that love and forgiveness even to those who have caused us hurt there’s a real possibility that the storm will pass and that we too will find a peace we never knew before. Our thoughts and prayers are with all who are suffering the ravages of Harvey. May the storm soon pass and new beginnings bring hope and peace……

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