[PC-USA] 2005-09-09 - Katrina, Redux

I went to a "shelter" for "evacuees" today. I use those words to explain initially the terms I will be using, for this church will not use either of them, and I agree with their sentiment. They refer to the people being served as "guests," and consider that the church is providing a "haven." And I agree wholeheartedly.

What can I tell you about my experience at a haven for Katrina guests?

I can tell you that I knew when I was leaving, that I would be back. I had already realized I wouldn't be happy, if I wasn't serving them in person. But I didn't know how difficult it would be, to leave.

I can tell you that after I left, I was a little more patient with my fellow man. And while I often try to let people out in traffic etc., I was doing that even more today.

I can tell you that I left there buoyed up by people from all denominations and faiths working together to help their fellow man.

I can tell you that I was thankful for the emphasis on hope. I have felt that is vital, for they have a long road ahead of them in rebuilding lives, and long after this is off the front pages, the need will continue.

I can tell you that I saw the face of Christ in every face I saw in that haven.

I can tell you that while no haven or church is perfect, since humans are involved, that even in the midst of such devastating pain and being totally uprooted (we are three states away from their homes), their faces didn't look anxious. They looked sad, but somewhat hopeful - and some even smiled. Can you imagine? And I think some of that is from the loving care they were receiving. We can't "fix" things for them, but we can be by their side, living out Paul's admonition to "weep with those who weep."

I can tell you that I will show more appreciation for the little conveniences we take for granted, like phone service. We lost ours for a couple days, and I felt somewhat disconnected from some family and friends. And yet imagine if you hadn't been able to phone or e-mail your loved ones for weeks and might not for months?

I can tell you that I am even more grateful for my family, dog, friends and home - and will do more thanking and more hugging.

I can tell you that I believe every single person can do SOMEthing to help. Not everyone can volunteer. But everyone can pray, some can give money or whatever the haven near you is asking for, and some can volunteer.

I encourage you to ask God what He would have you do. This has the potential for being a life-changing and nation-changing event, if we can stop finger-pointing (also pointed out by the director of this effort) and rather focus on working together. For in reality, don't we all want the same thing, to help rebuild these lives?

Comments or Questions?

[email jan] cfdevcfpray@yahoo.com