Changing How the Story Ends
People don’t like sad endings. In a movie theater, all we can do is walk out when the last sad scene is over. When the book ends, all we can do is turn the last page. When you lose the football game, you shake the winners’ hands and drive home.
Today, we see and hear the devastation that was left after these recent massive storms. It’s not easy to watch our neighbors suffer: lives lost, property destroyed and worlds turned upside down. The feeling of helplessness can be paralyzing. It’s only been a few weeks since Hurricane Harvey landed in Texas. Weeks seem like months, thanks to Irma, Jose and Maria. Throw in two earthquakes in Mexico and a typhoon in the Philippines. Just to mention a few recent events. It’s a lot. In my life I can not remember back-to-back-to-back storms and other natural disasters of this magnitude in the same part of the world.
Presiding Bishop Curry released a video on September 12, Because of work it took me some time to sit and watch it. Finally, I had a few minutes in between meetings, so I put on my headphones and let the video play on my monitor. There he was, offering wisdom and perspective to anyone that would listen. Then Bishop Curry said: “You can’t do everything, but you can do something.” I froze.
My breath became staggered. Tears welled up in my eyes as I sat alone in my office listening to Bishop Curry’s voice, reminding me that all the donors I’ve come in contact with are living out these words. They already know that they CAN do something and it’s through Episcopal Relief & Development.
It was a beautiful moment of realization, maybe even the cry that I needed to get me through that day. But those few words spoken by The Presiding Bishop connected me, in a deeper way, to those who suffer and we hold so dear. Something clicks inside us all when things get bleak. When I speak with donors over the phone, I can hear it in their voices. I see it in the generous contributions of all amounts and types to Episcopal Relief & Development. I read it in their emails of encouragement, pushing us to continue our good work. They have a genuine concern for neighbors in the next town or thousands of miles away. Even in comments and suggestions on how we can improve, It’s there! The outpouring of concern and generosity from all our supporters is humbling, inspiring and overwhelming. Our donors make sure that the something they CAN do will change how the story ends.
Our donors continually amaze me. What is more beautiful than seeing, hearing and reading our supporters’ commitment to changing how the story ends?
Listen to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s reflection:
Xerxes Eclipse is the Director of Donor Services at Episcopal Relief & Development.