Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Images from Saturday's celebration!!!

A team from Indiana, 40 strong made a 10+ hour journey to Tulsa, Oklahoma to offer disaster relief to homeowners impacted by the ice storm from December. They came in a caravan of 8 or so cars, vans and trucks with trailers to bring supplies and a bit of hope to those still trying to dig out from under a multitude of tree limbs.

We were included on their roster. This team left Thursday afternoon of last week and arrived in the wee hours of Friday morning. They pulled into a local church and slept on the floor for a couple of hours before heading out to work.

They pulled into my neighborhood around 10:00 AM. It was quite a site to behold! All of these vehicles pulled up and emptied simultaneously. My neighbors were understandably curious. What were all of these people suddenly converging on my home for? Some watched from windows, others came outside to see what was going on.

What they saw was a finely tuned machine. It's fabric was comprised of adults and students alike who had come to use chain saws ladders, rakes, and brute strength to empty my large trees of many broken limbs which threatened a dangerous future.

One man climbed tree after tree, bouncing from branch to branch as if he'd grown up in them. He carried a chain saw and cut free the desiccating limbs. Watching him was both exhilarating and scary. He wasn't tethered, and I feared a free fall into my yard. It never happened.

Simultaneously, several women had gathered at my home and were making preparations for the party the following day. They were working hard baking, cleaning and rearranging. I confess that though hard work was going on outside, the thoughts inside were whether or not everything would be ready. These women were working very hard as well.

I seemed to have the easiest job of all. I ventured back and forth from group to group checking progress. However, I failed in one obvious extension of love.

The outside team was working on the coldest day we've had in a long time. While they are used to these temperatures in Indiana, most of them do not spend hours at a time in it.

As they worked methodically, one would have thought while we were being served, I would have thought about taking off the winter's chill for them, with hot cocoa and coffee. It would have been a simple gesture indicating the return of our love.

I am embarrassed to say that it did not happen. Those hard working Hoosiers never got an offering from me. I fear I was too caught up in the whirlwind of activity and expectation of the following day, that the simplest acts of kindness did not find their way to fruition.

Even our neighbor who unexpectedly got his leaves raked and removed to the street, served them warmth and drink.

I am a prime example of how easily we become so focused on the tasks at hand that we forget to care for those around us...even those who are serving us. There is no excuse. The best I can do is learn from my mistake and forge ahead with intent of bestowing kindness at every opportunity.

These precious people returned to our home the following evening, and celebrated with us. The blessing they brought was multiplied significantly. We cannot begin to thank them enough!

I Praise the Lord for moving in the hearts of men and women, who selflessly at their own expense, come and serve...even when their Christian brothers forget.




At 10:34 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

I'm sure no one was upset, in understanding all that was going on this past weekend for you, anyone could have missed something such as that. I'm glad they were there to help and to celebrate with you.

At 2:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless,
Greenfield, Indiana

At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent, in the excitement of having "family" and friends and all the activity, no one I've spoken with that attended missed a thing. They all have indicated how God was truly present in every way and that they were sooo blessed to be there! I'm so bummed that I couldn't be there --- miss you guys. Vicky

At 7:48 PM, Blogger Hopeful Pediatric Oncology Nurse said...

Don't worry, Brent... It's okay (I shouldn't be saying this! I don't even know you!) I'm weird.

Praying for you everyday, in every way. May God be with you, help you in every instense.

In Christ,

At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You and your family DID minister to us as we worked in your yard and home. All of you ministered to our hearts. You ministered to us with your hugs, smiles, and in just being with your family. A family that we love so much. A family that we have adopted as ours. There is no doubt that both Friday and Saturday at your home was a huge blessing to us all! I love all of you - Michelle


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