December 24, 2014 Mother Nature delivered a Christmas Event that will mark the lives of Columbia, MS forever. Not one, but two tornadoes roared their way through town flattening numerous homes and leaving 3 dead. For the under/uninsured homeowner this turn of events was crippling with the future looking frighteningly bleak… Until- help arrived. MDS/ Storm Aid set up a base in town about a month ago with construction of multiple houses underway and CAM moved their base from Oklahoma to Mississippi a little over a week ago. Volunteers from all over are showing up with hammer in hand ready to rebuild homes and lives and offer hope.
And so last week found me driving a van southward as hard as we could go. On different occasions, I’ve been included in such work weeks and I always love it (maybe its because I get a chance to shake hands with my inner carpenter-lol ) So I faced the week with excitement.
The first job that I helped with- we were scraping mud from the dry wall crew off of the floor and pulling up staples left from the previous carpet. It is already August in Southern MS- like 85+- and even with our crew of 5- we scraped and scraped and it was hot and boring and I had not caught up from my 922 mile nonstop drive to the southland… AND basically the first day did not include a lot of fun and I was second guessing myself and wondering why on earth I was thinking this was going to be so amazing. Then I remembered a quote I noticed written on the wall back at base “You are the hands and feet of Jesus today” . That doesn’t promise the gravy job or the most exciting position. Serving people for our Savior isn’t assuring us an easy thrilling road. We are asked to SERVE. To do the dirty work. To reach in with both hands and love the recovering addict. To stop what we are doing and listen to the homeowners tales about her favorite dog or the fact that she lost a third of her swine in the storm. To be a sport and attempt to eat the crawfish even if those eyes look like they are daring you to try (which incidentally is amazing eating. sparse- but delicious). To touch people with the love the Father has so generously bestowed on us.
And in doing that- the blessing is ours. I was inspired by the testimonies of these survivors. I was blessed by Miss Debi’s sharing about the good that has come from this destruction (God continues to move in a strong way in her life) I was challenged to take the time to listen to the heart of people wherever I am…
And a side bonus- I’m now a non certified laminate floor laying specialist and have enlarged my portfolio of painting experience… 😉
So whatever task is facing you this week- whether it’s exciting and challenging or mundane and uneventful- may we remember the nail pierced hands we represent and perform with compassion…
We spent Palm Sunday morning in New Orleans- enjoying the unique culture in the French Quarter…