You just never know who needs you

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,



6 comments on “You just never know who needs you

  1. I just have tears running down my face today, Dawn. To bless is to be blessed, isn’t it???? It is just amazing what happens when we just do what God tells us to do without a lot of squabbling, arguing, going through a million hoops and committees, etc. I loved how simple you made these decisions, did it, got it done, and then saw how the “ripple effect” of blessings just kept flowing.
    Dawn, I want you to know that you have been a great example to me of Christianity worked out in real life! Your life speaks more powerfully than any words could ever speak! The Lord has been so good to me in showing me so many examples of “doing what needs to be done” recently,
    and encouraging me that no matter how little or insignificant something may seem, it’s a “biggie” to somebody. It’s so easy to turn away from small tasks, yet sometimes it IS just a drink of water that matters most! Thank you for being YOU!

    • Dear Cora,

      I was over at Andrea Dawn’s this morning and her poem spoke to me about the connection that those of us have 1) with our Lord and 2) with one another. I have this connection with you and I am glad I provide a “cup of cool water” to you once in awhile because I certainly drink from your stream all the time. At 1:30 pm today I must go to a meeting that is agonizingly cumbersome. I am giving up my membership and going to the meeting to orient the new person. Please uphold me in prayer that my “attitude” about this committee is not obvious and that I am able to wholeheartedly wish this new person Godspeed. I think she will be marvelous in this spot. The Lord has provided sweet release to His servant.

      Thanks for passing by and leaving your showers of blessing,

  2. Dear Dawn,
    It so inspires me that you spend so much of your free time volunteering with the flood victims after working your regular hours. So proud of you.
    “All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah!
    Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel!
    He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. ” 2 Corinthians 1:3,4 (The Message Bible)
    Praying for you as you continue to walk out the “Good News”

    I could use a little prayer also . . . lots of pain in my body and lost my job 2 days ago. It was only a temporary part-time job but my only income. I am waiting for knee replacement surgery and the way my body has compensated for that injury is now causing more pain than the knee. I try not to let it get to me but sometimes I find it difficult to cope with the chronic pain. I had xrays this morning and have an ultrasound in about 10 days

    Still trusting in His goodness and mercy,
    Andrea Dawn

    • Andrea Dawn,

      I love that scripture. I will open Friday’s blog with it. I am coming alongside you today in your struggle with pain. When I herniated the discs in my lower lumbar spine in June 2009, I struggled with incessant pain for nearly 2 years. I don’t have it nearly as much anymore, but when I do the reminder of those two years is freshly stirred. Pain is exhausting and forces its way into the front of everything in life making even the simplest tasks seem daunting. I can remember not even wanting to take a shower because it was too much effort. I have prayed for you while typing this and will continue to do so as I go about my day. Craig gave me a signal to place in my comments if I wanted him to pray for me. It is an asterisk. I think that would be a good thing for our entire community. Place an asterisk if you need extra prayer.

      There is no temptation taken you but such as is common to man, but is faithful, who will not permit you to be tempted above that you are able, but will, with the temptation, also make the way to escape that you may be able to bear it.” I Corinthians 10:13

      I am sorry that you have to wait for your surgery and even 10 days for an ultrasound seems long. I opted not to have surgery for my herniated discs, but if it happens again I just don’t know if I can do 2 years! Anyway, I am praying that the Lord will bring you healing of your body and bring an answer to your financial needs.

      At the throne if grace,

    • My dear Andrea, if I could recommend a visit to an acupuncturist, I think that could alleviate much of your discomfort and maybe even help with some healing. love you dear friend.
      Dawn, I am also so blessed to know of your help around you whenever there is need. Hugs dear friend and continued strength from our dear Lord Jesus.

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