Thoughts from the Outage

In case you didn’t hear about the massive power outages across West Va, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, well, we had them. A majority of West Va was actually without power because of a devastating storm that somehow managed to sneak up and do quite a bit of damage. Sunday morning power was restored at Redeemer, and the Henderson’s got it on Sunday night. Almost exactly 48 hours after it went out.
After sitting in air conditioning all day, here are some thoughts about this ordeal.
1.) Thankful. I will try not to complain about power bills. I usually don’t (I complain about water bills because I think I have a leak but can’t prove it-how else would my water be as high as a neighbor with 3 daughters!), but now you could probably put me down in the happy-to-pay-the-power-bill category for at least 4 months. I won’t take power for granted, at least not for a few months (I know myself).
2.) Need for community.  When you don’t have power, your need for others is exposed and increased. Someone gave me a car charger for my I-Phone and it worked. For 5 minutes and then my phone realized it doesn’t recognize knock-off I-phone chargers from Walmart. So I had to go to my neighbor and ask if I could plug my phone into his generator. I’m glad I did because it gave us a chance to catch up. But I wanted to take care of it myself, and would have, if I could have done it alone. Then while Cade lay fast asleep in our basement, Amy, Connar, and I got locked out of our house due to a broken door knob (courtesy of our boys).  We had to run to different neighbors this time. After library cards couldn’t pick the lock, we borrowed some wire cutters, cut the screen and then slid Connar into the window for him to unlock the door. I might have been too big to climb (or do it comfortably) through the window over the deck, so the 4 year old came to the rescue. And it was Amy’s idea to use Connar that way. We needed everyone.
3.) Need for worship. We got power on at the church Sunday morning. Whether we had to meet in the parking lot, we were going to gather. I needed it. I needed the rhythm of the weekly sabbath to gather for hearing God’s word (whether planned or extemporaneously preached), the singing of songs, confession of sins, hearing the assurance of grace. I needed to hear about others hardships with the power outage. I needed to hear that as Christians we don’t have to act as the rest of the world does and freak out when things like this happen. I was thankful to meet indoors in the cool of the sanctuary, but it was Christ who I think I would have found regardless. It was he who calmed and refreshed my weary soul. We need Him each week, and we have the opportunity to find Him in a special way when we gather for worship.
4.) Lack of power is a great equalizer. I waited in line for about 30-40 minutes for coffee the first morning of the power outage. I was standing behind some carnies, who were trying to grab a cup of joe before heading back to fix the carnival stuff at the high school. Behind me was a church member. Beside me were wealthy and lower income. We were all without power. Regardless of class, smell, number of teeth, skin color, appearance, we were all helpless and in need. It reminded me of another great equalizer: God’s law. It reveals to us how we are ALL powerless to measure up or keep it. One of the purposes of God’s Law is to remind is to lay us low. But being laid low helps us identify and humble ourselves with fellow sinners all around us. And being laid low makes the good news of a complete pardon and perfect record that much greater. Fortunately we don’t have to wait 48 hours after a look at God’s law for relief! Both Jesus and electricity are much more precious to me after this trial. Even Connar told me, “Daddy, I like electricity.” Hopefully he’ll have an appreciation for both kinds of power for a while.
And please don’t forget to keep praying for those who won’t get power on for a few more days. Thanks.

2 thoughts on “Thoughts from the Outage

  1. For this moment in time, I can truly say I have experienced a kinder more compassionate human race. People seem to genuinely care about one another. Neighbors are sharing generators, food and beds. Families are hosting other family members. The mood is one of thanksgiving, with feelings of being so blessed to have what we do indeed have-electirc and a cool home. In conversation with many people going through the lines at Walmart, we all seemed to be a little embarrassed about our need for comfort and ashamed that we are so weak. But I must say for today, it appears that people want to help their neighbor and the next person in the long line. It has been a joy to experience kindness with concern from friends and family but awesome to experience it from a stranger.

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