Romans 12:17 says: Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
Last Saturday a group from the church had the privilege of going to Ft. Myers and helping a small family, who had no insurance, start cleaning up after the storm. The floods did not cover the house, but filled it with about 3 feet of water—the family’s possessions floated in all directions. We cleared the yard and we removed furniture from the home. We even helped them clear out a refrigerator that smelled to high heavens since we were there weeks after the storm came through.
It was great to see our church family work together to help a family over there. We did some work! Everybody worked hard except me. I just wandered the yard with a bucket and cleaned up stuff. Mostly little stuff…a case full of CDs…a bunch of electronic knickknacks…a slew of credit cards…broken lawn ornaments…flowerpots and even clothes. All this and more out on the lawn in front of a house that experienced three feet of water. Like a clothes washing machine, first washing into it, then washing out of it, with an agitating cycle before the wash cycles.
As I sifted through the stuff, oddly dug into the dirt in places, I wondered what that little family, who had evacuated and weren’t coming back for a while, thought about strangers collecting all their goods. I wondered what it would be like for me to have some random person, unknown to me, decide what was treasure and what was trash from all my life’s possessions.
It was a sober moment. It gave me some pause. I wondered what people would think of me if they cleared out my stuff and decided what went back and what went to the curb. And then I thought, “you know, you need to live your life in a way that you can face the people that cleared out your stuff and thank them.” Would you really want to be embarrassed by wondering if they found this, that or the other thing had floated out on the lawn, never mind inside the house?
A word to the wise is sufficient. I think this applies to our stuff and the amount of it that we have. But it applies to all our resources, whether monetary or physical, our thoughts, everything. It applies to our life and to our spiritual life, although God can see it all now, He doesn’t have to wait for a storm.
It was an honor to serve that family. We will not be the ones to rebuild that house. But I pray for them specifically, amongst all the people affected by the hurricane. May God help them to rebuild their lives, their sense of wellbeing, their hope. I hope we get to replicate the help we offered Saturday. Come join us!
Grateful to be back,
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16