The Category 1 hurricane’s strike in the most densely populated area of the United States has traumatized millions of people whose experience in dealing with the approach and damages of hurricanes is not as extensive (thank goodness) as people in the Gulf Coast and south Atlantic states.
The path of destruction along the shoreline painfully reminds former hurricane victims in Mississippi and neighboring states that nature’s power is relentless and the aftermath tragic, costly and stressful beyond description.
Many Mississippians, including a special delegation dispatched by Gov. Phil Bryant, have gone to the New York/New Jersey area, a fitting response given the outpouring of support our state has received after natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the late April tornadoes in 2011.
In the depths at the start of recovery the nation has experienced some of the same uniting of concern as experienced after the 9/11 attacks, Katrina and many other traumas of great cost and misery. Bipartisanship has returned, if for just a short season, with the presidential candidates suspending campaigns in the immediate aftermath, and President Barack Obama quickly and personally going to the governors and mayors with personal assurances only a president can make in behalf of the nation.
Many faith communities have relief agencies, and most are accepting donations specific to Hurricane Sandy relief, plus the Red Cross is fully engaged in parallel with the faith community, state agencies and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
These websites offer channels for hurricane relief and assistance:
• https://www.redcross.org/donate (Red Cross)
• www.catholiccharitiesusa.org (Catholic)
• http://www.namb.net/dr/ (Southern Baptist)
• http://www.umcor.org (United Methodist)
• http://www.presbyterianmission.org/give/DR000187/ (Presbyterian USA)
• http://www.er-d.org/Supporting-Impacted-Dioceses-after-Sandy (Episcopal)
• http://www.irusa.org/ (Islamic)
• http://www.jewishfederations.org (Jewish)
Cash often is best when donated through a trusted organization.
Prayer offered by people of faith is also accepted by people of faith.
The Presbyterian Mission Agency offered this prayer online from Psalm 46:
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns ...
Our role is to make the new day’s light brighter.