Random (and Overwhelming) Acts of Kindness – A Postscript to Typhoon Yolanda

A house collapses during the Typhoon Yolanda storm surge.

A house collapses during the Typhoon Yolanda storm surge.

It’s been one week later after super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) ravaged the Visayas Region. Everybody has seen the devastation it has to this region, especially Tacloban City.  Relief efforts are painfully slow as the victims slowly begin to pick up the pieces and move on.  Some move on to greener pastures like Manila in the hope of starting a new life, but there are those who stay despite seeing a complete wasteland.  And those who do stay, either by choice or by force, are homeless, hungry, weary and thirsty.

Manila residents are fortunate to have come out of it unscathed.  Just a few months ago, we’ve been hit by heavy monsoon rains (“habagat”, as we call it), which, although nothing compared to Yolanda, nevertheless caused widespread damage.  Then last month, a strong earthquake hit Bohol.  But the damages from these areas are nothing compared to the destruction caused by Yolanda.

It’s all over now and everybody is back doing their day to day chores.  But in the midst of it all, everyone is all eyes on areas affected by the storm–young and old, local or foreigner.  Everybody wants to HELP–and help is sorely needed.

I admit I’m not in the frontline helping out in the distribution, although I want to be.  My limitations force me to stay at home with my family and at the workplace.  But it doesn’t mean I can’t help at all, and that is how most of us are in the workforce.  We help in our own little way.

Rescuers save a baby from the storm (Source:  Yahoo News)

Rescuers save a baby from the storm (Source: Yahoo News)

The Burning Desire to Help

You can’t really watch the news and not feel your heart simply wrenched by the pleas of families begging for food.  Finger-pointing’s no use in this period of urgency.  Families surviving the storm are now in one of the greatest battle of their lives, i.e. to simply live and pick up the pieces. As Christians, we are called to help and serve whatever way we can, be it volunteering for mercy missions or donating what we can shell out. Compassion compels us to offer what we can to alleviate the suffering of the other.

And these past few days I tell you, I’ve been overwhelmed by the acts of kindness I’ve received from the workplace.  These acts of kindness isn’t just among Filipinos but other nationalities as well.  You just have to watch the tv to see how foreign missions are flocking to Tacloban and nearby areas to pitch in and help in the aid distribution.

Unexpected People

There are some people I never expected to help out. Known as a terrible person, this was the sort of personality you wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.  But out of the blue, this person was the biggest donor in our department, which to my mind was amazing considering the character!  Two other people unexpectedly gave huge amounts, much to my amazement.  More than that, they offered words of sympathy for the whole of us.  Truly overwhelming!

Seeing Christ in Every Person

God is truly wonderful.  In any human defects, He always manages to shine through in every individual. When we see Jesus in the heart of every human being, it changes our perception dramatically and makes the burden of serving easier.  It changes you and it changes the person you’re serving completely.  This is the effect of radiating Christ in our spirit.

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