No one wants to hear that a hurricane is coming to town. If you have ever been in that situation, then you know that such news results in a lot of scrambling. The lots fill up at grocery and hardware stores. Basic supplies disappear from the shelves. Gas stations run low on supplies. Plywood goes up over windows and sandbags block doorways. Roadways get congested. That is the drill.
Hurricanes do not roar through Omaha. Even so, we get our share of harsh weather that triggers emergency responses. Everyone who has lost a roof to a tornado or a car to hail understands.
What do you say when such things happen to somebody else? Is it bad luck? Or, more to the point, what do you think when it happens to you? Do you still consider it bad luck? Sure, rain falls on the just and the unjust, but that only feels okay if it is raining on somebody else.
Maybe one of the results of seeing so much destruction from Florence is a genuine sense of thankfulness that the storm did not come after us. More than that, we can feel a sense of common humanity with those who lost so much, including lives and property. And, if we are able, sharing from our abundance to help with relief efforts also makes sense. Who knows- the next emergency might be ours.
Rev. Dr. Gary S. Eller
President, Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation