In the wake of such devastation as that left behind by Typhoon Haiyan there seems so little that we can do to make any impact on those living with the consequences of the storm. The conditions people are facing in the Philippines are unimaginable to most of us. And really why would you want to imagine something like that happening in your community? It’s horrifying. But perhaps we have to try to imagine so we can begin to grasp what they are dealing with, so we can truly have compassion for the people impacted by the storm. It’s possible that up to 10,000 people were killed by the power of the storm, 10,000 men, women and children, old and young, rich and poor; wind and water don’t discriminate the way we do. The town where I have spent the last 16 years has a population of around 27,000. It’s impossible to imagine that almost half of them could be lost in one day to one storm. Yet, the people of the Philippines don’t have to imagine it; they have to live with it. How does a community cope with that kind of loss? I can’t begin to imagine.
What I can imagine is what I can do. So what can we do? Sending thoughts and energy of love and peace seems inconsequential in these circumstances. But here’s the thing, and granted it’s a what if. What if they could actually feel that love and peace, really, truly feel it? What if we sent our own force of nature, a force so great they could feel its touch just as they could feel the winds of Haiyan? Only in this case they would feel the gentle touch of love upon their cheek, the soothing, tender hand of peace upon their shoulder. Neither love nor peace would make the water they’re drinking clean, it would not bring back the loved ones they have lost, it would not put food on their plates, or rebuild their houses, but it would let them know something they might very much need right now. It would let them know they are not alone. As lost and bereft as their souls may feel right now, they are not alone. We are with them and we are with them with love in our hearts and peace in our actions. What if they could feel that wash over them instead of water and wind? At the very least it would quiet their hearts and at best it would give them hope for healing. For while love can’t bring back what was lost, it can heal and it can rebuild and it can unite. While peace can’t calm the seas it can calm the people, allowing them to work together to find solutions for all.
So yes, let’s send money and aid and medical supplies, but let us also send love and peace. While the devastation left by the storm is unimaginable, let’s make the power of love and peace not only imaginable but visible in the lives of those impacted by Typhoon Haiyan. Let’s help them imagine what may be unimaginable to them right now – there is hope enough, there is love enough, there is peace enough to heal and rebuild their lives.
From wherever you are tonight at 6:30pm EST, join me in meditation, in imagining the not so unimaginable – the people of the Philippines touched by the love and peace we are sending, the people of the Philippines feeling us there with them in their sorrow, holding them with compassion as they mourn and standing with them as they open their eyes to a new day with hope for healing. I will meet you there.