Tuesday, June 14, 2011

On The Mend

Her white blond hair hung down the length of her back. She grinned then grabbed her momma's waist and leaned into her . . . shyness can overcome a girl of nine.

The U-Haul they had rented was parked nearby, ready to unload. They had brought it all the way from New Mexico to Joplin, full of goods for the needy ones. She had made a plea on their behalf, stood in the gap for the hurting, and the response was overwhelming. Friends and neighbors and some folk they didn't even know generously responded, bringing enough to fill a truck. A little child shall lead them.

She was going to take dance lessons this summer. She was. She wanted to . . . twirl, spin, leap . . . but she wanted to rent that truck more than she wanted to feel the wind beneath her wings. Even more so, she wanted to ride in the truck to Missouri with her mom and help people. There won't be any dance lessons for her this summer, maybe next year, she is on a mission instead, dancing her way into the hearts of the homeless.

Her daddy died three months ago. She and her momma cried and cried but all the ache would not go away. The pain of losing someone you love can hang on for a very long time. They chose to shake off their hurtful hearts and give to others who had lost more. It wouldn't bring her daddy back but it would make him very proud of her, even so.

A  little girl of eight came to sign up to receive free supplies for the victims of winds. I helped her and her momma sign the papers, writing her name and age in the designated box, and those of her sisters, too. I introduced her to my new little friend  from New Mexico. They were shy at first, strangers, grinning, then dimpled grins turned down to look at painted toenails inspecting the other's flip-flops. They went through the "store" together, pushing  and filling the grocery cart while becoming friends. My new little friends, girls, ages 8 and 9  found a place to mend in the company of one another.

Like I said, I didn't sit on a pew last Sunday. My twirly skirt remained on the hanger, but I got the message that the Lord wanted to teach me. It was delivered by a nine year old girl from New Mexico. It was about giving when you are hurting and letting the healing come. There is something about reaching out when all you want to do is cower in that liberates one from the heaviness of grief. I got the message, but more than that, the message got me.

 Did I just see her pirouette?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Beyond the Pew

When mind is small it thinks on small things. My mind was fixed upon wearing my new pink twirly skirt to church Sunday. It is beautiful! Dancing is not required, it has a graceful, pretty flow when you walk across the room.

I received a call Saturday afternoon that caused my small mind to completely forget about the skirt. Thankfully.

I was called upon to help at a church that is helping the needy victims of the Joplin tornado. I have been wanting to help, asking the Lord where to go, what to do.

So Sunday, I put on my capris and my t-shirt and went to Joplin to be the church.

We are supposed to grow at church. I am told of those who have gained pounds as a result of church suppers. I am most likely guilty of that. It is easy to grow seated around a bountiful table, but we are supposed to grow spiritually seated around the altar. It can be easy to get fat there, too.  Yesterday I was called upon to exercise my faith, away from the altar feast,  with my hand outstretched toward hurting and broken people.

 Today the tears fall like rain.

I hope I never see destruction like I saw in Joplin ever again in my lifetime. Words do not convey, tv news reporters cannot depict, stories cannot reveal, cameras cannot catch how devastating the reality is.

My friend, Rosamary, spent nine 14 hour days there . . . yesterday was her tenth. I have spent one measly day, small, small sacrifice on my part.

I met a little girl yesterday. I am going to have to tell you her story. Think I will write about her tomorrow, that is unless I am called back to Joplin to work.

Please pray for the people of Joplin. 7000 homes were destroyed. Last I knew, 151 people have died as a result of that one damaging storm.

There are people who have lost everything. One lady said that she buried five family members and a friend.

So many are still in shock. Some are getting their bearings. The strong ones are sharing hope.

I will never be the same . . . amen.

Twirly skirts sitting on a church pew . . . what was I ever thinking?