The opposite effect

© Photo by Paul Jeffrey

Disasters create space for grace and generosity.

This blog by Tim Baker, All We Can’s Churches and Volunteers Manager, is part of All We Can’s ‘Rethinking Disasters’ micro-blog series.

In her controversial book ‘The Shock Doctrine’, Naomi Klein makes a compelling case for the way disasters (often humanitarian in nature) create the conditions for aggressive ‘neo-liberalism’ to rush in – a particular capitalist world-view to which she objects.

Rather, in my experience, disasters create the space for grace and generosity to rush in. Several times over the last four years at All We Can I’ve experienced the double-sided coin of a humanitarian disaster:

1.  Heartbreak watching the images on the evening news and reading the front pages the next morning.
2. A different kind of heartbreak as the All We Can phones ring off the hook with supporters, friends and churches wanting to find out how they can help, if we are responding and what their donations could help us achieve.

This is an amazing testimony of people being moved to action, but surely it shouldn’t take the tragedy of 1, to create the space for the grace and generosity of 2.

That’s why I’m proud to champion All We Can’s Disaster Risk Reduction approach and excited about the ways we can keep working to allow grace and generosity to make a difference in our world, without the need for tear-stained newspapers.

Tim Baker is a lifelong Christian and passionate advocate for the church’s role in tackling social justice issues. He has been at All We Can for 4 years and is currently the Churches and Volunteers Manager, equipping and encouraging churches in the UK to respond to injustice, poverty and humanitarian disasters through All We Can’s work.

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