Chasing Contentment

Sunday, September 4

It's been a good weekend for us, full of sadness and joy, just as life is most days.

We heard of a family of evacuees staying here in town with three young sons and the mother nine months pregnant. Between my friend, Linda, and me, we had clothes in all of the right sizes for the three boys, so we gathered up clothes and books and toys for them yesterday. My Griff has been amazingly willing to give of his things. He has the most tender heart. My heart swells and breaks when I think of his tender little spirit.

I went through my closet and have a big bag of things to go to the shelter tomorrow. Mike has put his name on the list of volunteers to work at our church in response to the evacuees and their needs. We'll begin gathering school supplies this week for the children beginning Griff's school on Tuesday.

And I feel like we're doing things to help, and yet, I feel like we're not doing enough. I cannot imagine the helpless feeling of those who are too far away to do these basic things.

This morning in Sunday School, we listened and shared about what is going on here in our community. Two farmers spoke of full fields of crops, full and plentiful, that will not be harvested because there is no where to store and no way to transport the crops. The river is a lifeline for our farmers, and this season, they will see their crops die on the plant, with no way to save them. Such losses will touch us all.

People spoke of family members who were with the National Guard serving in NO, one of whom was flying a helicopter that was shot upon. A family member driving a bus to pick up evacuees received gunfire to his bus as well. Another family member is driving a busload of evacuees to Chicago and won't be home for days. People are going out of their way, risking to help others.

I feel broken for these dear people. My friend, Mandy, reported from a shelter yesterday and told heartbreaking stories, both of human loss and of human generosity.

A friend moved out of her home and into the home of a friend to give her home to the evacuee family of an acquaintance. Aleece and her family have invited a family of four to live with them. An older friend who has always lived alone has opened her home to a couple, along with their pets. People are helping people.

We've spent today with the kids, playing, watching movies, eating snowcones. When we pulled up to the snowcone stand, Mike placed our order. The older lady working the stand asked, "are ya'll from here?" and we knew that had we said 'no,' she would have given them free. We are seeing generosity from our community that humbles me and reminds me of the spirit of love and community that comes from living in the deep south where everyone is family.

I know we all have such questions (and criticisms) about how things have been handled, and those questions need answers. But not now. Now, we all need to focus on helping one another, on giving one another a hand up. One tiny little blow of the wind to the west, and my family would have been one of these.

[  posted by Chel on Sunday, September 04, 2005  ]


I've been thinking of you. This is a poignant post - and I agree with your focus on helping.
Hope the snow cones were good!

By Blogger Catez, at 9:09 PM  

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