Pastor’s Corner: We’re Affected

August 23, 2023

Yes, we’re affected.

In some ways, the disaster in Lahaina seems far away. When the winds were howling down the slopes of West Maui and Kohala, we had no more than a gentle breeze in Hilo. In contrast to the eruption of 2018, which periodically brought a sulfurous haze to our mornings, there was no hint of woodsmoke in the air that Wednesday morning we learned of the fire.

Yet we are affected.

We are affected because we care. We care about people who’ve lost their homes and we care about the terrible loss of life. We want to make it all better and we know we cannot. We want to rush to rebuild and we know that these things take time – lots and lots of time.

So we are affected.

Tragedies call out the best in us, but they also stress us. Have you been deeply sad in the last two weeks? Or have you found your temper snapping over trivial things? Have you struggled to pray? Have you been angry with God?

We have been affected.

For this time, the best things we can send to Maui are our prayers and our monetary gifts. These are the things that move quickly; these are the things that do not add to the burdens of our neighbors there. For this time, it is also important to take care of ourselves, to address our tears and anger and stress so that we can do our work here and now. If we take care of ourselves, we’ll be ready to assist our neighbors on Maui when that time comes.

As a friend tells me every time we end a call: “Be gentle with my friend.”

Be gentle with yourselves, my friends.

In peace,

Pastor Eric

The photo is of Pastor Eric on Maui in 2017.

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: | Posted on August 25, 2023

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