A mother and daughter were sitting at Tzu Chi’s table in the Disaster Relief Center. As the mother sobbed uncontrollably, the daughter was trying to comfort her.
They were survivors of the recent Camp Fire.
Finally able to speak, the mother explained that she is of Native American descent. Her faith is a very important part of her life. Although her home had burned to the ground and they had lost everything, she chooses to see this disaster as a sign from God.
The two women had to wait for their turn, so they watched Tzu Chi volunteers listening attentively to fellow survivors. Each person received a warm hug and all the tissues they needed to make them feel a little better. The mother gradually felt more hopeful, as she knew they could expect the same practical help and warm support.
Near Dharma Master Cheng Yen’s portrait, a large screen was showing video clips of Tzu Chi volunteers throughout the years helping and comforting disaster survivors around the world. Their caring, reverent manner and obvious commitment to help strangers touched the mother so deeply that she couldn’t stop herself from crying once again.
Later the mother would recall her feelings. “We have no knowledge of Buddhism, yet I felt the power of love, compassion, and peace at the heart of your faith,” she said.
The daughter added, “You Tzu Chi volunteers are strangers, yet you came from far away to give us your warm blankets, scarves, and relief cash cards. We are truly grateful for your kindness and loving gesture.”
More tears swelled up in the mother’s eyes as she received an embrace from one Tzu Chi volunteer.
“Even though we lost our house, we still have our faith,” the mother said. “The power of faith will give us enough strength to get through this very difficult time. Thank you for coming to give your love and renew our strength and hope!”
Then they walked into the new day with tears of love, and the hope for a better tomorrow.