Dear Friend:

The last few days I have been thinking about the word, “unity”. Psalms 133:1 records:

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” 

This scripture makes it clear that there is something powerful and beautiful when believers are living in unity. It is in that place of unity that “the blessing” is experienced. Skip Moen writes in “All Together Now” that “this Hebrew word yachad can mean “unity” as it is in this translation, but it more likely means “all together”.  It’s position in the sentence helps define its meaning and when it comes last, it means “completely together” (see 1 Samuel 11:11 and Isaiah 27:4).”

So when we are talking about unity we are referring to being all together. Author and Pastor, Rick Renner says it this way in Sparkling Gems from the Greek :

“So, what is unity? Unity occurs when people are united in action and passion for a common cause. Their shared goal is so strong that it removes hostilities, puts away disagreements, and gives previously divided people a reason to take their place alongside each other.  When this occurs, different gifts, talents, and anointings become connected together, and the result is an amazing river of divine power that achieves the supernatural and accomplishes the impossible.”

Over the last few weeks and months our country has experienced this unity.  Through the horrific and tragic events such as the April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon bombing, the April 17, 2013, West fertilizer plant explosion, and most recently the  May 20, 2013, Oklahoma tornados that ravished towns like Moore, Shawnee and others we have witnessed Americans coming together  “united in action and passion for a common cause”. What is the cause? Simply, to help a brother or sister in need. To help a hurting stranger who has lost everything.

My heart is thrilled as I read the stories of ordinary people traveling from other cities and states into Oklahoma to lend a hand. People are coming together using the tool of social media to find out how to help. Facebook groups such as Moore Oklahoma Tornado Recovery and Moore Oklahoma Tornado Volunteers connect the solution to the problem. Listen to these recent Facebook posts from volunteers who were looking for ways to bear the burdens of others:

“Is there a good place to head to where a family with 11 year old and 14 year old boys could help out?” (Jill)

“My husband has a track hoe, can he come help clear debris? Can you send me quick directions from Edmond?”

“Driving back up to Oklahoma City area tomorrow from Fort Worth with a U-haul trailer full – lots of clothes, shoes, snacks, tons of water, diapers, wipes, tooth brushes, etc.  I would like to take this load to a small town needing assistance.” (Rachael)

“Today my family, friends, and colleagues drove from Dallas, Texas to Oklahoma and were blessed to help Little Axe. This was a life changing experience. We are all truly blessed to be a blessing to others!” (Melissa)

“People constantly were giving us food, water, supplies…even giving tetanus shots from a four wheeler… people helping strangers…God’s hands and feet. Beautiful. Thank you again!!” (Amanda)

“Wondering if you guys could use a hand in the next few weeks. I can only do two days because of my job (and I live in the Houston, Texas area) but I would love to help if anyone could use an extra hand.” (Brandi)

“My husband, daughter and I have put together care packs and are heading down from Kansas in the morning. Can anyone tell me what town/community needs these the most?” (Maygen)

“Thank you guys for blessing my family with the opportunity to help your community start the healing process. God bless all of you guys.” (Erin)

I think about the scripture in the Gospel of John that tells us that light will always overpower the darkness (John 1:5). This nation has seen its share of darkness in the last few months but thank God for light. Thank God for light inside of people. People who choose to reach out, care, pray, give, love, bless, get dirty and sweaty for someone they don’t even know, “just because”.

I am blessed to live in this country and I am proud to live in a nation that does not look the other way when someone is hurting. At a time when there seems to be division and disagreement on the political front, I think it would be wise to look at the places where we can all agree. I think we can all agree that a momma who just lost her nine- year old girl in a natural disaster or a man who just lost a limb in a terrorist bombing in Boston needs our prayer, love and support.

Let’s be the United States of America… one nation under God… loving, working, helping, forgiving and supporting one another. Let’s use our words and hands to help build, restore and recover not to tear down and destroy.  God Bless America!

Maureen Stanek

Bastrop, Texas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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