When Bad Things Happen

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'photo 354' photo (c) 2011, The DLC - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Last week a town just an hour away from me was hit hard by an F4 tornado.  I’ve been to and through Harrisburg many, many times in my life. It’s a nice small town, typical of Southern Illinois.  But I’ve been looking at the pictures of the damage left in the tornado’s wake.

I don’t know if I’d recognize it.

Hundreds of homes and businesses in an already-small town were destroyed.  Lives were lost.  Some people lost everything they owned.

There was a town in Indiana that was hit a few days later.  From what I understand, virtually everything in the town has been leveled.

The outpouring of help from local towns, at least in our area for Harrisburg, has been tremendous.  There are donation boxes up at several businesses for money at the cash registers, churches are taking teams down and collecting necessities for those that lost their homes, people are pulling together to help with a need.

It’s what the church should be doing.

I see so many good things happening.  People are willing to help out their neighbors in a time of need.  I think this is especially true in small towns.  I wouldn’t even want to guess how much money that my town has raised and donated to strangers, friends and families in need.

This truly is an incredible place to live and serve.

But there’s going to come a time when the media leaves and the shock of it all wears off.  And this is going to be the time where we need to pick up our game.  At the point when everyone’s too tired to move is when we need to come in and give more relief.

The relief effort now is incredible.  Our pastor took a group of high school kids down today to help serve at a food pantry. There are businesses and churches joining together under Operation Blessing to coordinate the efforts.

I just don’t want us to forget a year from now that they still might need help.

Because that’s what I do.

I go down once and help out.  And then I forget.  Having something hit this close to home isn’t going to let me forget.

And I’m thankful for that.

Because being the hands and feet of God is tiring.  And sometimes it hurts.

But it’s what we’re called to be.

And I’m thankful for those who are willing to give up everything and head down to help out in the relief effort.  Your service will not be forgotten.

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