Recently our neighborhood participated in the Great Utah Shake Out, a day of preparation for earthquakes and other natural disasters. Each home on the block was given three cards ahead of time to place in the window during the shake out drill. The color of the card indicated if the members of your home were okay, needed help soon, or needed immediate help. I placed a green card in the window to indicate that we were doing just fine.
Later as I drove around the neighborhood I noticed how many homes had placed a red card in the window--Need Help Now. Perhaps they placed that card without much thought as to the color, or with a bit of facetiousness, but I thought to myself... You know what? What if they do need help now? What if those families are struggling with hard things and they really are in need of someone to come to their aid? What if those of us with green card windows were really experiencing red card trials. What if we were more willing to share our hurts with others and accept the rescue and relief that perhaps only they could bring? How are our homes and families really doing? How are our neighbors really doing? Here are a few of the signs we might post:
Failing Marriage. Need Help Now!
Family conflict. Need Help Now!
Fighting addiction. Need Help Now!
Battling illness. Need Help Now!
Lonely. Need Help Now!
Financial distress. Need Help Now!
Looking for employment. Need Help Now!
Longing for marriage. Need Help Now!
Longing for children. Need Help Now!
Grieving a loss. Need Help Now!
Overwhelmed. Need Help Now!
Exhausted. Need Help Now!
Depressed. Need Help Now!
and the list could go on and on...
It reminded me of this story, here, from the Brave Girls Club. Indeed, what if we stopped "placing a green card in our window," indicating that everything was okay, when we really did need help? What if we started looking for the red signs, even if they aren't hanging prominently on display. What if we served others assuming that something in their life merited a red card in their window--knowing that we would likely be accurate in that assessment. What keeps us from sharing our struggles with others, and furthermore, what keeps us from supporting our neighbors in their needs?
While the point of the Great Utah Shake-Out was to better prepare us for the turmoil and chaos of a natural disaster, we might also take a moment to ask how we are currently doing in our own homes, families, and neighborhoods. Satan is determined to destroy homes and families--what can we do to better safeguard ourselves and those we love? After this experience I'm determined to be both more open in articulating my needs, and more aware of the needs of others around me.