I spent the day at the big Red Cross trailer parked beside the Fairlawn Christian and Missionary Alliance Church. I was there to hand out supplies to people who have lost almost everything in the ravaging floods we had here last week. As the people came to the trailer I could see this look on their faces.They would come up to the trailer and see all the supplies and wonder, “Are you really going to give me some of these things?” Most of these people have never been in a receiving line. Most are rural middle-class working families who have always earned their own way, always paid their own way and, in many cases, paid the ways of many others around them. They cared for their children within the family. They cared for their elderly parents themselves, always made sure the local food pantry was stocked, volunteered their time to make sure the community was safe, and gave of their time and talent to run children’s programs for the good of all. Everything centered on their family life and all they worked for was in their homes and communities. In one fell swoop a raging river washed it all away. Some lost family businesses as well as homes. They come to us in shock, in mourning, hearts broken, confidence shaken and so embarrassed that they have to depend on others.
Barb is our leader. She tells us to make everyone feel like they can take whatever they need. We know our neighbors. They will not take more than they will use. That is why I think the churches should be doing disaster relief not the government. This exchange of resources is occurring between neighbors. Everyone who comes is known and loved. Here is a copy of Barb’s worker schedule.You see the word LOVE there by her pen. Every time she checks her schedule, she is reminded to remind us that we are here to love our neighbors. Loving is seen everywhere around the trailer. The men came to build steps so the people could enter the trailer to pick what they felt they needed themselves. The men also hauled thousands
of pounds of supplies and handed them up to us women in the trailer. Without their gifts, we women would have had a much more difficult task. While we on the west end of the city do this, Faith United Methodist Church in an eastern suburb is coordinating and sending out work teams to provide manpower to those who need it. A nurse I work with at the hospital is on the list to get help. A woman in a wheelchair is receiving help and elderly people with no heat are priorities.
When I think of the Red Cross sign on the trailer I smile because we are here because the blood of Jesus made a cross red long ago for each of us. We love because He first loved us. Our love is bringing hope to our community today. I am posting this in the wee hours of the morning this Walk with Him Wednesday because I’ll be out at the trailer the rest of the day. Please pray the people can feel the arms of Jesus as they come.
All is grace,