For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. – Ephesians 3:14-19
I saw this in the Houston Chronicle newspaper today:
Angela Blanchard, one of Houston’s leading experts on disasters, wrote this list of things that everyone should remember during large-scale emergencies several years ago. It’s especially relevant now. [Note: You may view her full list at the bottom of this blogpost – DLB]
She offers some good insights – worth reading and acting upon. Foundational to our knowledge, however, is the knowledge of God. This is revealed in Jesus, recorded in Scripture, and embraced by people of faith around the world and in many different social, physical, and health conditions.
You can know Jesus is Lord. This is good knowledge. You can know he loves you and everyone in the world. This is important knowledge. You can know he has conquered death. This is comforting knowledge. You can know Jesus sits enthroned at the right hand of the Father and is interceding for us. This is encouraging knowledge. You can know that he promises to come again at the end of all time and bring us to a new heaven and new earth. This is life-centering knowledge.
Knowing these things, let us pray…[From the National Day of Prayer Committee with a suggestion from fellow blogger quiltingcrosses]
Heavenly Father, we turn, not panic, in response to this pandemic. We praise You as our Almighty Creator and sustainer. You are the Author of our days, our refuge and strength.
- Lord we humbly ask you to push back and remove this virus from us; glorify Yourself in this national and global emergency. We cry out to You in unified prayer.
Deliver us from this disease, we pray, and let your glory fill the earth as you respond to our prayers. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Thirteen Things You Should Know by Angela Blanchard
- No one is coming. We must move at the speed of need.
- You may not be at fault, but you are responsible. This disaster chose us. We must own it.
- You can’t build on broken. Pay attention to the strengths, skills and aspirations of those around you. Build on those.
- Do what you can with what you have where you are. Right now.There is nothing more powerful than a family, company, community in touch with its own aspirations and principles.
- Allow everything that is not destructive. Especially art, music and dance. Even in disasters, people need joy.
- Isolation is a breeding ground for rage and despair. We may be physically distant, but we must remain spiritually, emotionally, socially connected. Connect today.
- At every milestone there will be gratitude and grief in equal measure. Even as we recover, we will also see what has been lost. Allow gratitude and grief to reside in your heart together.
- Practice loving detachment. Others may not behave as we would want. We learn not to react to panic and fear, even as we manage our own.
- There is enough to go around. Act as if it’s true.
- When you come to the fork in the road, between resignation and acceptance, take the path of acceptance. No whining.
- People can survive individually, but they thrive collectively. Place your faith beyond survival.
- Leaders practice “when I know it, you know it.” People can handle the truth. We unravel when we are forced to play detective in a disaster. If you want people to follow you, you don’t have to be certain, but you must be transparent.
Angela Blanchard, president emerita of Baker Ripley, has been a player in helping Houston recover from multiple disasters. Still based in Houston, she now teaches Brown University graduate-level public-policy courses on Disaster and Displacement.