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Thursday, May 06, 2010

So many images

I'm sitting in my office this morning (Thursday) before we head out again to support the relief efforts in Franklin. I am reflecting on the images I have seen this week. Many will be impossible to forget. There were the homes in Hard Bargain--an area of Franklin filled with families that struggle to get the basics for life--flooded with muddy water...and families helping each other clean out their messes.

There was the image of mud and filthy water spilling from insulation in the home of a single mom who lived "far away" from the flooding because she wasn't "near a river." Her damage came from a storm drain that couldn't handle the rain and put 5 feet of water in her backyard.

There was the image of a dear friend of mine, a young woman, who broke down in tears as she was forced to throw away some of the last physical memories of her dad she loved dearly. More than just pictures, it's clothes, greeting cards and notes that can never be written in or worn again.

It's the image of people helping people. Complete strangers stopping to check on each other. It's the image of the Church being the church in a world that needs us.

But one image that will never leave my mind came yesterday. We were helping a lady whose home was a complete loss. When we arrived yesterday, there were young men standing in the yard that I assumed were local college students. I would soon find out that these were young soldiers from Fort Campbell, KY who had volunteered their time to come and assist. Here's the thing...they leave next week for Afghanistan. It would be easy for them to check off "serving" on their card. They are doing their part. But they wanted to do more. So they gave of their last week in the U.S. to give back even more. As they were preparing to leave, the lady began to say her good-byes and hug their necks. She said, "Would you guys do me one last favor? Would you lock arms with me and allow me the privilege of praying for you as you prepare to leave?"

I'm not gonna lie. I teared up. I watched as a dozen young men from varied backgrounds locked arms with a lady they had not known 8 hours before and respectfully bowed their heads to listen as she prayed blessings over them. It was a powerful image...one that won't get air time on the news or even make the local paper. It's one that I will carry with me for a long time as one of the most powerful of the Flood of 2010.

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