Last week Haiti, Cuba, the Bahamas and the entire southeastern coast of the U.S. shared a common bond. We were all experiencing one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit the area. Winds blew like trains passing and water raged totally non-threatened by seawalls, sand dunes or dams. As the often taken for granted electricity put city by city into creepy black darkness, I think I could speak for the majority saying that we knew only an act of God could turn this monster storm away. The news (when we could get it) reported of devastation after devastation but let me relay a different side of things - a side which doesn't always make the front pages.
We are in a season where we hear bashing remarks about and from politicians on a daily basis. It's often ugly and incredibly inappropriate. Everything in the media's reporting on hurricane Matthew last week was dismal as well. That is, until South Carolina's highest ranking official, our governor, took the podium just before the hurricane hit our coastline. Somewhat surprised by the act but extremely grateful at the same time, I heard our governor ask for a prayer of protection to be sent to our Heavenly Father. It wasn't a moment of silence and it wasn't just a reference asking God to be with us. This prayer was also not flowery and self serving as to say "Hey, look at me and notice how spiritual I am". The prayer that day didn't show hesitancy with thoughts of what might be politically correct or incorrect. The words were words of genuineness and smallness, true concern and compassion. There have been little to no backlashes of "they shouldn't mix church and state". The feelings and comments seem to have been of thankfulness in publicly calling in a higher power. These leaders knew they would need help and wisdom. Hurricane Matthew was bigger that any human being and the southeastern coast knew that. Believe me when I say I'm not endorsing or putting anyone on a pedestal. I certainly don't intend to appear to do so. What I am doing is noting that we as a nation seem to innately know that when things are at their bleakest there is only one place to turn. So why does our nation at other times seem to push that knowledge away?
On a more local scale, I want to relay some of the kindness I saw and experienced personally. I know there were SO very many random acts of kindness but these were just some I saw.
One young mom posted that her home would be open for a simple meal of tacos to those who she knew did not have electricity in town.
One church in town threw a free four hour post hurricane party for children. The party included pizza, games, hanging out with friends and also a service project... A SERVICE PROJECT! 1 Peter 4:10 says "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms." What a great thing to teach these children as they also provided time for them to get their wiggles out! Another group of moms organized a play date at a park for mother's of preschoolers and their children.
Personally, I posted that I was looking for a generator to borrow from someone who might have already gotten their power back. Within the hour, I had one. Then I posted a question inquiring if anyone had seen ice for sale in town (without electricity it's difficult to keep food fresh, right?). There were people who offered ice from their own commercial ice machines, one offer came from a staff member who said I could fill up coolers from the church kitchen supply, three people offered extra bags of ice they had in their own freezers or coolers, one not only offered the ice she had in her refrigerator ice maker but also a warm shower and s'mores around the fire pit! All these wonderful servant hearts went above and beyond. What would our country be like if all our nation's leaders prayed publicly and privately for help and wisdom while asking for prayers from others to do the same? What if we also prayed daily for our leaders? What if we all had servants hearts not only in times of extreme stress and need but every day? What if....
Walking the road with you,
Mom 2 Mom
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