I was the first one to arrive at the Red Cross disaster trailer today because I was going to load my van to go out into the flood ravaged neighborhoods instead of wait for people to come to the trailer to get supplies as we had been doing. I fumbled with the combination lock on the trailer door, praying all the while that I could crack the code because I have never been good with such things.
Voila! In less than a couple minutes the trailer door unlocked, a minor miracle already. It is going to be a God day! About 10 minutes later Barb drove up. She was going with me and arrived early to help get us loaded. She was SO excited! “Dawn, Dawn (she pronounces my name doe-on, doe-on) I have so much to tell you. Last night I was so depressed because I didn’t think we were helping the people who really needed us. I told the evening people that we were going to change our strategy tomorrow, that we were going to go out TO the people. Do you know what? The minister’s wife decided they would do that right then and they went out into the neighborhoods and really met families, saw the devastation and listened to the stories! It was fabulous. I am so invigorated”
“Yesterday I felt depressed, like there was a cloud over our service. When you said you were going to bring your van and take the supplies to the people, something in my heart awoke and I immediately could see the vision clearer. I am so glad you volunteered to work with us. I didn’t know what to do, but you did.”
I had no idea that Barb felt this way yesterday. She was loving and kind, encouraging and goal-oriented. She greeted everyone who came to the trailer warmly and people went away with their needs met. I felt we could do more, and I worried about those who could not drive, had no electricity, phone or…home. I thought we needed to be with them so I asked if I could go “on the road”. She was overjoyed, but told me to ask God about it. Almost immediately one of the men helping said he thought going out to the people might be something we should consider. Barb looked at me as if to say, “Bring your van tomorrow so we can load it.”
I got rid of a whole van load of supplies in one hour today and I didn’t hurry. I listened to many stories. I touched people’s shoulders, scratched dogs’ ears and loaded water, shovels, mops, detergents and snacks onto what was left of porches. I know how these people feel because in 1972 I was where they are when Hurricane Agnes flooded my half double. Seven months pregnant, I was homeless.
Today I helped people like I was helped 39 years ago-door-to-door. (My son was 39 on August 30.) I expected to bring hope to my neighbors, what I didn’t expect was the hope I brought to Barb when I shared with her my door-to-door vision. She is such an encourager and such a Godly woman that I never even considered the fact that she may have concerns about the way our piece of the disaster relief was going. I was reminded that we all need one another all the time – flood or not!
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” Hebrews 10:24 (NIV)
Hebrews tells us to consider how we may spur one another on. We need to deliberate, to think carefully about, our part in helping others be the best they can be, for it won’t be long till we will be needing someone to do the same for us. After all, we were made in the image of a trinitarian God.
To spur and to be spurred,