By BaSean A. Jackson
On January 28, 2014 the Atlanta metropolitan area was crippled. Going into noon all was well, but by 2:00pm disaster had hit Atlanta like I have never seen before in over 20 years. A snow storm bringing about 2 inches of snow covered the ground and iced the roads; seemingly the entire highway and system in Atlanta became a parking lot. People abandoned cars, walked miles, or just remained stuck hopelessly awaiting relief. Children were stuck in cars, school buses, and schools. Panic began to strike families, friends and loved ones everywhere. Again we were shown how vulnerable, powerless, and precarious we are to the whims of Mother Nature.
I was also amazed by how these moments of extreme emergency brought out the best of our humanity, compassion, and generosity. There was story after story of people walking up and down the highways to makes sure children had food, liquids, and warm coverings. I ran into a man who had walked over four miles through the course of the night, when finally he was given the refuge of shelter by a complete stranger. Adults in neighborhoods in close proximity to schools where children were stuck brought food, blankets and sleeping bags. In the midst of being frozen and iced by snow, hearts were being warmed and people were being moved to spring into doing what they could to ameliorate and alleviate the damage of this disaster.
Imagine that! For a brief moment, many chose to prioritize attending to the needs of people right where they were, instead of concerning themselves with how exactly they got there. I am sure there were people who could have made better decisions, parents who could have been more aggressive and proactive about ensuring the safety of their child, and officials who could have planned and prepared in a more excellent manner. Yet, in the midst of the exigency of this frozen calamity, so many people chose to suspend asking who was responsible and who was to blame, and chose to allow the needs of the victimized and vulnerable call them into action.
It took the disaster of ice covered roads, traffic jammed highways, abandoned cars, and displaced men, women, and children to move us to the action I believe God calls us to embody every single day. Each day I believe we have opportunities to see and meet the needs of the most vulnerable and victimized of our society. During every election and voting opportunity we are given the chance to make policies that will save children who are stuck, unattended, under cared for, and unLoved. There are times when problems are so severe, needs are so salient, and crises are so pronounced that all else should take second priority to lending a hand, sacrificing ourselves, and taking action. Some believe these situations are once in a blue moon. I believe these opportunities call us every day. The occasional heroism shown in Atlanta’s snowstorm is simply a reminder of the everyday call God gives us to Love.