The images from Nepal are devastating. I am so far away! “How can I help?!” runs through my mind, hurting inside every time I see them. Yes, I can, and do, send money.
It is not because I am an overly nice person; it’s just that I think I could lend a hand.
I remember after the horrible earthquake in Haiti I had the same feelings of powerlessness. My mom was still alive then to ground my thoughts. I was sitting with her at her assisted living facility, news blaring, frightful image after frightful image. Her hand was resting on my forearm rubbing her worries out on my sleeve.
“I should volunteer,” I nodded, “I am so short I wouldn’t take up much space, I don’t need a lot of sleep…I am great in an emergency, AND I speak Spanish and enough French that I would be an ideal volunteer.”
My mom looked at the screen, the screaming people, the silent ones just watching the piles of rubble being moved way too slowly to help.
She blinked and rolled her head slowly toward me, “Boy, your children must be driving you crazy.” And she turned back to the television screen.