Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A cross and a prayer

Have you ever felt helpless in the time of someone else’s need? I have. I see their pain and their struggles. I see their hardships and I am left feeling poor. And I don’t mean poor in a monetary way but I feel like I am lacking. Well….maybe poor in a monetary way can be a part of it, sometimes.

What do you give the person that has just lost their home? After days of wondering how your home faired in the storm, you come home only to discover your home is wet from top to bottom. There is mold growing on the walls, the furniture and even the carpet. And the smell is something you can’t even imagine. You realize you were left with nothing. You only have what you packed in your car during the evacuation and any money you may have in the bank… which may be little or much. But what do you give them? Where do you start? Do you give them a blow up bed?....how do they blow it up? Where do they place it to sleep? Okay, well now they need a tent. And food, don’t forget food, but they no longer have a refrigerator so you need to get them either a refrigerator or a cooler, but then they need a lot more money to eat out since they can’t keep anything cool. Oh, and don’t forget cooking utensils, clothes (and a way to clean them). Do you see my point? How it can seem overwhelming. And if you don’t have much to give, then what can you do?

And the stress is unreal. Kids are going to school in borrowed clothes or donated clothes. They may not fit right or even be within dress code. So now they are singled out because those who lost nothing are wearing their normal uniform. And well those that didn’t do well…well they wear what ever sorta fits. And they are scared. Mom and dad are worried about when the claim adjuster is going to come and how are they going to pay the mortgage on a home that is no longer livable? FEMA helps but it is not perfect and where it stops or lacks, as a child, you look to your parents for strength. And no amount of books or videos can prepare you for this but you do the best you can and you move forward. Toys are scarce and little Sally and little Juan are bored. Sally misses her doll that you promised would be there when you came back from the evacuation. And Juan complains that his XBOX is gone….what is worse, he doesn’t complain about his XBOX. He just wants to be in his room again. He wants to sleep in his own bed. Even then I feel poor because no words I say to them will make their lives normal again. Nothing I will say will ease them and make the fear go away.

But God is so good. And someone listened to Him and was faithful. Someone, and I don’t know who, but someone went from house to house of those that were devastated and said they were sorry for their loss and handed them a cross and told them they are praying for them. And for those that didn’t answer the knock at the door, or perhaps there was no door to knock, a note was left and a cross. Sometimes we don’t see the fruits of our labor but God does. You see, a little boy that sits next to my daughter in one of her classes, wears one of these crosses everyday. When his parents finally let him come back to see his home, someone had been by and left one of those notes and left a cross on a necklace. The note said they were sorry for their loss and they were praying for them and that God is here and He will guide them.

So when he sees his parents worrying or when he thinks of his old home and all the changes he has had in his life, he holds the cross in his hand and knows he is safe and all will be well again. A prayer and a promise from a stranger not seen has brought peace and faith to one young man. God is good.

So when you don’t think you count or you think you can’t help….pray. Let God work through you and when you do, He will do more than what you could have ever done on your own.

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