| The power
went off at 8 pm Thursday and came back on at midnight Sunday night. At
first it was but a novelty, a minor inconvenience, but by the end of the
three days, the significance had sunk in. Even though we had a gas fireplace
and outside barbeque, four old-fashioned oil lamps and many candles, I began
to think of what it must be like for those devastated by a Katrina-like
event, for the homeless, and for most of the people of the world who have
There was this humbling recognition of how
easy it is to take for granted all the treasures we have surrounded
ourselves with and how fragile and useless they become when it comes to
basic needs of life.
There was the discovery that it's not easy to
read by an oil lamp or candles. Our eyes have become so accustomed to the
bright lights that electrical power and commercial standards provide.
(How often have we heard that the church sanctuary lights aren't bright
In just those three days, some food in the
refrigerator and freezer spoiled. Can you imagine what it would be like to
live without these appliances?
Gone, too, was the luxury of a hot shower or shave.|
In the context of the world situation, this
inconvenience was all small stuff. But the measure of humility and
self-centeredness that came with it was not. We have a new awareness of what
Christ calls us to be and do as individuals and as a church.
This pre-Christmas storm was timely as it came
at a time when we were preoccupied with the hustle and bustle that the
season has come to be. It caught us trying to meet the deadlines for mailing
cards and gift packages. These were mailings to some family and friends that,
instead of being once a year connections, should have been ongoing
throughout the year. It wouldn't matter then if they were late.
The three days without electrical power were a
strong reminder that there is a higher power that sustains us, guides us,
and calls us to a higher purpose. It helped bring us back to the true
meaning of what we were celebrating. May it linger a long time.