After the Storm

by Danny Tariman

​I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities. (Amos 9:14)

I had been monitoring the storm “Glenda” as it rips across the Philippines. At about 5:30 in the morning, while still on bed, I tuned-in to our radio to listen to the latest update. The storm has passed through the southern part of our island is now nearing Metropolitan Manila area.

At about half-past-seven, the wind’s intensity grew stronger and maintained its force. I started to feel uneasy. I called my family to a quick prayer asking God’s intervention to spare us and our house from effects of the storm.

I went outside our house to check our surroundings. I can’t stand to see the winds blowing the trees, especially the trees very near our house. I continuously prayed for protection because if indeed the trees will fall, our house will be directly hit.

I silently prayed in my heart that the storm will be gone, as it seemed that the clock ticked slower with the passing of the storm. Thanks be to God, after pounding the city for about two-and-a-half hours, the wind started to slow down.

By 10:30, I surveyed our surroundings. It was littered by debris brought by the storm – leaves, branches and twigs, fallen trees, and a knocked-down electric post.

I saw our neighborhood starting to clean up. And so I joined them clear up our street of the debris. We were hand-in-hand doing our work together to bring back our community back to its former state. Yes, I know, that the Lord will restore us His people, as we try to rebuild our lives (Amos 9:14) from what the typhoon had destroyed.

But one thing that I realized while we were cleaning up our street. The love that we – the neighbors – had for each other. Social standing was removed, job titles were gone; we were just plain good neighbors helping each other.

Jon, who has a number of cars in his garage, started helping me – even if it was still raining. He was literally drenched in rain while helping me. Vic, who is a Senior Vice President of a company, volunteered to help me carry a garbage bin full of leaves. Mang Tinoy, a neighbor’s family driver, spontaneously helped us cut a fallen tree in front of our house, while Vic carried the branches away from the road. Another neighbor Bot, who owns a power rental business, offered to connect our house to their mobile power generator set while the whole community was in black-out. [All names are fictitious but persons are real.]

This is a real display of concern for each other. This is love in action.

Thank you Lord for giving us these good neighbors. I claim Your Word in James 2:8 – “if you fulfill the royal law as expressed in this scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well”.

Yes, we are, and will always be, doing well in Your presence O Lord!

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