Love happens…even when words dont
It was about the only word I knew in spanish to say – but I really didn’t need any others. An entire community – mainly occupied by hispanic families – dealing with the aftermath of the recent Middle Tennessee flooding…and we were about to do a small portion to serve them.
At around 5:45 this evening, I got a call from one of our awesome men at LifePoint Church. This guy is a rockstar when it comes to servitude…his mansion in Heaven will be a monstrosity…and yet he will likely just offer it to someone else in exchange for a modest cottage. (Justin, I love your heart, bro. You and Amber are awesome!) He asked if I could meet him down at an area mobile home park in 15 minutes to help feed the entire park. I loaded up my family…and we went.
When we got there, I couldn’t help but want to plug my nose. There was a stench of raw sewage in the air…and for
good bad reason. When the floods came, the power – and water – became inoperable in the mobile home park. When the residents go to the bathroom…the sewage has no place to go but underneath the mobile home. It was rank.
We had only been there for sixty seconds…and I would give anything for fresh air. These people….have lived with this for more than a week and will likely live with the smell and the other pitfalls from it for days to come. What do we have to offer them tonight?
We went walking from mobile home to mobile home with the simple words – and then waited for the residents to make their way towards our makeshift "kitchen". On the menu…spaghetti, salad, and water.
Moral…ah, yes…I love morals to stories. I can’t speak much Spanish. Just enough to make me dangerous. I didn’t need to. Nor did the residents need to speak English. They came up, we handed them a plate…and most all of them – in the midst of the stench that we, as outsiders, couldn’t stand after only 60 seconds, gave us the most gracious smiles.
Can’t rip out carpet in a house? Cant demolish drywall? Think there isn’t anything you can do to help flood victims? Guess again. If there is one thing I have seen over the past week or so – it is that people are so thankful just to know that someone cares about them.
I will absolutely implore of you this week to make time to volunteer somewhere. Pass out bottled water. Make dinner for one household. Take the time to show someone you care – and let them see the love of God in a simple action.
For the record…the area we fed tonight wasn’t in Nashville – it was actually 21 miles away in Smyrna. There are numerous other communities outside of Nashville just like Smyrna who need assistance – so the opportunities for assistance are countless.
Have a youth group or church group and are within driving distance? Pack up some bags…and partner up with one of quite a few churches who would love the help organizing relief efforts. Got some vacation time saved up? Spend a vacation that will mean much more than "here’s another picture of us on the beach." Gather the family and make a vacation of servitude. Cant travel? Make a donation to a reputable organization that will ensure your money will go to relief efforts.
Want some ideas of where to start, who to talk to, what churches to partner with? Please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] .
Above all – do something.