This week, Christchurch, NZ virtually came to a halt when supply lines were broken. My kiwi friend tells me that people are being asked to leave the city if they have somewhere to go. With 80% of the power off, the water and sewer mains broken, the banking system shut down, the network of roads disrupted by major shifts in the asphalt, curfews enforced, the city cannot flourish. This beautiful city with its world famous botanical garden, 19th century charm, and friendly people was swiftly crossed off as a tourist destination because an earthquake shut off the supply lines.
Closed! Closed to business. Closed to education. Closed to tourists! Closed!
And yet there is one supply line that remains open.
Compassion! The world community is rushing to bind up New Zealand’s fresh wound. Compassion is the lifeline that will reopen other supply lines so that Christchurch can flourish once again.
It’s a good lesson for us personally. When an earthquake suddenly strikes an individual or a family and all supply lines are broken, what is our response? Do we turn away? Ignore it? Pretend it didn’t happen? Or do we rush in with compassion and bind up the wound of our neighbor, friend, or stranger?
There remains one thing when all other supply lines are broken: Love—demonstrated through compassion. Love never fails to reopen supply lines.